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Well-Being and Residents’ Tourism Support – Mature Island Destination Perspective

Authors
  • Frleta, Daniela Soldić1
  • Badurina, Jelena Đurkin1
  • Dwyer, Larry2
  • 1 Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Croatia , (Croatia)
  • 2 University of Ljubljana, Slovenia , (Slovenia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Zagreb International Review of Economics and Business
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2020
Volume
23
Issue
s1
Pages
29–41
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/zireb-2020-0021
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Rapid tourism development accompanied by exponential increase in the number of tourists and visitors in destinations can disrupt the life of destination residents and negatively affect their support for (future) tourism development. On the other hand, residents economically dependent on tourism might have different attitudes toward tourism in comparison to those who are not economically involved in tourism. Several studies have found that economic dependence on tourism induces more positive perceptions of tourism impacts and higher degree of support than non-dependence. Another potential valuable predictor of tourism support could be residents’ subjective well-being, enhancing our understanding quality of life under the influence of tourism. The purpose of this study is to better understand local residents’ support for tourism development by exploring their well-being, involvement in tourism activities and perceived overall value of tourism development. In order to gain a specific perspective of island tourism destination, a sample of residents living on a small Adriatic island Vir (Croatia) was chosen. Vir is high seasonal and mature destination with annual number of visitors around 30 times bigger than the number of permanent residents. It was found that those residents who are directly or indirectly economically benefiting from tourism have significantly higher scores in personal and national well-being domains and also exhibit higher support towards future tourism development, than those who don’t experience economic benefits from tourism. Regression analysis of an island well-being perception index, revealed that tourism generates more benefits than costs and economical involvement in tourism positively affect residents’ tourism development support. On the other hand, demographic predictors (age, gender, education, income) and personal well-being index are not associated with tourism development support. The results provide important insights for researchers and practitioners on understanding residents’ perceptions of tourism in mature destinations and how those perceptions can be related both to subjective well-being and the level of involvement in tourism activities.

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