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Title: Tourism and community life : building a conceptual framework
Author: Stylidis, Dimitrios
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 6529
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2012
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Tourism is widely considered as a means for enhancing local economies but as previous research has shown, is not always a panacea. The development of tourism at a destination, in particular, has considerable positive and negative impacts of economic, social, cultural and environmental nature that an increasing number of host communities are experiencing in their daily life. The significant effects tourism can have on a destination and its population led researchers to examine hosts' perceptions of the impacts of tourism in order to understand the influence of the industry on the life of residents, as well as identifY their level of support for tourism development. Aiming to understand the formation of residents' perceptions of tourism impacts and support for tourism development, which is vital for local authorities and planners in planning and developing tourism at a level that residents will endorse, previous studies examined a number of factors as potential antecedents of these perceptions. Even though researchers have so far highlighted the effect that the context of the destination (rural-urban) or its particular conditions (e.g. state of the local economy) have in forming residents' perceptions, no previous study has examined the way residents perceive their place as a place of residence and how this affects the formation of residents' perceptions of tourism impacts and support for further tourism development. In fact, as a destination image study has found (Schroeder, 1996), the way residents perceive their place as a tourist destination positively affects their intention to support tourism development as well as to recommend the destination to others. The first stage of this study, involved a thorough review of the literature on residents' perception of tourism impacts, aiming to identify the potential impacts of tourism as perceived by residents, the factors that influence residents' perceptions and support for tourism, and the major theories developed for understanding the formation of these perceptions. In addition, since there is a paucity of research in measuring residents' perception of their place as a place of residence, the researcher reviewed the destination image and community satisfaction literature as a theoretical background for establishing a construct termed residents' image of their place as a place of residence. Building on the social exchange theory, this study developed and tested a model with the aim to examine how factors (residence image, potential economic benefit, community 11 attachment) identified in the literature affect the formation of residents' perception of the economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts of tourism which in tum were hypothesised to affect residents' support for further tourism development. After having established the theoretical framework, the researcher selected the quantitative research approach as the most relevant for the needs of this study. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to the adult residents of Kavala, and 481 usable questionnaires were retained for data analysis. The research findings confirmed most of the initial hypotheses, apart from the role of community attachment, and provided evidence to support the proposed model. Among the theoretical contributions of this study is the development of a construct (residence image) which is deemed useful for understanding the way residents perceive their place as a place of residence. Capturing residence image reveals the positive and negative images residents hold of their place, information which is useful for local authorities and marketers for improving the image of a city and building a successful brand image. This study contributes also to the body of knowledge by providing a theoretical framework for understanding the way specific elements (personal benefit from tourism, community attachment, residence image) affect residents' perception of tourism and support for tourism development. The examination of the effect that these factors, and especially residence image, have on perception of impacts is deemed useful in deciding which type of tourism development is appropriate and relevant for the destination and its population, in understanding how residents' perceptions of impacts and support for tourism development are formed, as well as how residents' support for tourism will increase. Finally, this thesis contributes to monitoring, planning and management of tourism, as the finding can assist local authorities, tourism planners and developers in the design and implementation of tourism development plans that will be supported by the majority of the host population. All in all, the theoretical framework developed contributes to planning and developing tourism to a level that residents will endorse, helping thus in maintaining a harmonious relationship between the host population and the tourist industry which is vital for the development of a sustainable and successful tourist destination.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available