Residents’ Perceptions of Tourism Impacts and Attitudes Towards Tourism Policies in a Small Mountain Community

SSRN Electronic Journal 05/2011; DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.1839244


The purpose of this paper is to explore residents’ perceptions of tourism impacts and how they affect attitudes towards local tourism policies. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of community attachment and employment sector of residents. This study presents the results of a quantitative survey among residing families of a small mountain community located in the Northeast of Italy. The findings reveal that residents’ perceptions on economic, environmental and socio-cultural impacts affect their support to local tourism policies. Residents who perceive positively tourism impacts are more willing to support future tourism development policies. The analysis has also demonstrated that native-born residents generally perceive negatively tourism impacts and are less willing to support any increase in the overall number of tourists, supporting the well know social exchange theory. Some implications for the tourism planning and management of the destination are also discussed.

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Available from: Marta Disegna,
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    ABSTRACT: The timing of hosting sport tourism events during tourism high season can socially impact the quality of life of the residents living within the host community. Therefore, in order to successfully assess the impact of these types of events on the social well-being of residents, the perceptions of those who reside in close proximity to the event should be taken into consideration. Social impact assessments of sport tourism events, though seemingly important, are often avoided by scholars who give precedence to the perceived economic benefits of hosting a tourism sporting event. Avoidance in measuring the social impact stems from the limited credibility that this type of assessment is believed to have, as the perceptions of residents can change over time. Regardless of this, the manner in which local residents view a particular event is critical to its long-term success. From a social sciences perspective, this paper examines the impacts of hosting a sport event in tourism high season through locally perceived notions. Previous studies assessing local perceptions of social impacts of a small-scale event hosted during tourism high season on a small island are limited, and this paper fills this gap.