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RESOURCES: PAPERS & PRESENTATIONS
|Author :||Samuel Folorunso Adeyinka-Ojo, Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore & Vikneswaran Nair|
|School/Work Place :||Taylor's University, Malaysia|
As the tourism industry continues to grow globally, sustainable tourism development has drawn interests among researchers, practitioners, governments and stakeholders. There are several studies on the local residents’ support for tourism, local community participation in tourism development, sustainable tourism development, sustainable tourism indicators, economic and socio-cultural impacts of tourism. However, past studies revealed that studies on local community’s support for sustainable tourism development specifically in rural tourism destination appears to have been given very little attention in the literature, hence the need to study this concept. In addition, research has been undertaken on environmental impacts of tourism, positive and negative effects of tourism on the host community.
The main aim of this study is to conceptualise a framework to analyse factors influencing the local community’s support for sustainable tourism development in rural destination. Local community is regarded as one of the most important stakeholders in rural destination as the host of the tourists who are seeking for a memorable holiday experience. Therefore, local community’s participation and contributions to sustainable rural tourism development cannot be overemphasised. In achieving the above objective, the study adopts secondary research by examining the existing literature on sustainable development, sustainable tourism development, responsible tourism, rural tourism, community based tourism and the local community’s support in planning and managing tourism growth to promote the positive impacts of tourism and to minimise the negative effects in destinations. Furthermore, the study also combines relationship-based theories, resource-based theories and politics-based theories to understand certain factors underlying local community’s support for sustainable tourism development.
Based on the study framework, the paper suggests that there are factors influencing the local community’s support for sustainable tourism development in rural destinations. Among these are: community attachment, community involvement, sense of community, tourism benefits, participation in decision–making process, conservation of the tourist environment, quality of life, promotion of culture, festival and gastronomy. The study also indicates four other factors which might oppose local community’s support for sustainable tourism development in rural destination. However, this will largely be dependent on characteristics peculiar to such rural tourism destination. These factors are robust state of the local economy, residents’ occupational identity, negative impacts of tourism or costs of tourism to the destination and economic detachment or independence from tourism. More importantly, the study also suggest that socio-demographic variables of the community; for example gender and power deserves further studies because this could be regarded as moderating factors between local community’s support and sustainable tourism development in rural destinations.