Developing a scale to measure resident attitudes toward impacts of tourism in Langkawi, Malaysia
The primary purpose of the study is to develop a better scale of measuring resident attitudes toward impact of tourism development in Langkawi, Malaysia. The second objective is to test whether or not culture is a factor determining resident attitudes. This is determined by having residents with different racial groups as respondents. The study was comprised of six stages which followed the procedure suggested by Churchill (1979) and DeVellis (1991). The first stage began with generating all the items of tourism impacts. The items were obtained from interviews, the Tourism Impact Attitude Scale (TIAS) developed by Lankford and Howard (1994), the latest scale developed by Ap and Crompton (1998) and the current literature. The analysis ended with 48 items. For the next stage, nine judges were selected and were asked to assess the content validity and clarity of the scale. This deliberation eliminated four items to leave it with 44 items. Next, based on Fishbein's attitude model, the items were carefully worded to avoid bias and ambiguity in the questions. The items were then purified by using factor analysis and Cronbach's coefficient alpha. 220 students were used for the pretest analysis and the results ended with 29 items. The next stage of the scale verification involved the same analysis and was tested on 145 residents of Langkawi. The results ended with 13 items and five domains of tourism impact. Finally, the scale was tested for convergent validity and the result indicated a moderate relationship between the scale and the question used to measure the same thing. The study also confirmed that culture is a factor in determining resident attitudes towards impacts of tourism in Langkawi. The Langkawi Tourism Impact Attitude Scale (LATIAS) has been successfully developed and its shows strong reliability and good content and convergent validity. The scale encompasses 13 items and five domains to fit the Langkawi community's cultural background. Thus, the study makes a methodological contribution to developing an attitudinal scale which is reliable and valid. In addition, it allows for greater understanding of the resident attitudes toward tourism development in the area. However there is still a need to further verify the scale in other communities in order to substantiate it.