Tourism Planning and Development - Taking Resident Attitudes in to Consideration

Topics: Tourism, Sustainable tourism, World Tourism Organization Pages: 8 (2772 words) Published: November 9, 2010
Tourism Planning & Development – Taking Residents Attitudes In To Consideration

26th October 2010

Tourism Planning & Development – Taking Residents Attitudes In To Consideration

Today, it is ‘intellectually chic’ to have the view that tourism is ‘bad’, or perceive it as something negative, which is due to the numerous negative impacts the tourism industry has had. Undeniably tourism has had negative repercussions, but it also has brought with it many positive aspects, unfortunately it is the negative ones that are fondly remembered by the host (Shaw and Williams, 2002). Despite it being trendy to run down tourism, it is becoming an increasingly important component of economic development programs around the world. It is not the purpose of this essay to defend tourism or outline the positive and negative impacts of it, but rather to discuss the attitudes of those in the host communities, of who tourism directly affects, and how their attitude, being negative or positive directly affects tourism development. Also the importance of their attitudes being taken into consideration, so as it is the positive impacts which will be fondly reminisced about and how it the issue can be addressed so that the attitudes are favourable. Failing to plan and manage tourism correctly can create hostility in the host-tourist relationship and contribute to the decline of a destination. Maintaining cultural identity of a destination is necessary for tourism development as it is culture that holds a fascination for most tourists. The cultural elements of handicrafts, traditions, history of a region, architecture and local food (Ritchie and Zins, 1978) are very attractive to tourists, and the development and maintenance of these must be done through the local community to ensure that the cultural elements and their authenticity are upheld. The community involvement is important also to ensure that these elements do not evolve into ‘airport art’ (Shaw and Williams, 2002). Despite most literature citing negative impacts, tourism can have a positive impact on culture, for example there has been a revival of Kenyan art associated with the growth of tourism or Graburn’s (1976) study of emergence of Eskimo soapstone carvings. Cultural events can retain meanings for local people (Shaw and Williams, 2002). The more positive attitudes towards tourism development can be found where a community depends on tourism dollars. Positive attitudes have also stemmed from enhanced leisure and economic activities. For many the benefits outweigh the negative impacts. Researchers have found that the more knowledgeable a community are of the positive impacts of tourism on the economy, the more the tourism industry is appreciated. When the exchange of resources are balanced, or is high in favour of the host, the more positively tourism is viewed. The potential for economic gain has a direct, positive affect on resident attitudes. Residents often view tourism development positively if it contributes to historic preservation. Therefore it is essential in the planning process that those involved play a role in educating the individuals of the community about tourism positive impacts, and also the negative impacts. This balancing act in educating the community requires a deep understanding of the social, economic and environmental dynamics within a community. Attitudes towards tourists are a partial function of spatial location and economic dependency. There needs to be ongoing participation by the residents and also education, throughout the development process, reinforcing the positive economic benefits to mitigate adverse social and environmental impacts (Harrill, 2004). By developing collaborative strategies it will optimize payoffs to stakeholders in the domain and reduce turbulence in the field, while also increasing the likelihood of sustainable tourism development (Trist 1977). The recognition of mutual benefits will lead to more effective and...
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