Impacts of Tourism Development and Residents' Satisfaction: An Explanatory Model for the Case of Huelva, Spain

Impacts of Tourism Development and Residents' Satisfaction: An Explanatory Model for the Case of Huelva, Spain

Alfonso Vargas-Sánchez (University of Huelva, Spain) and Francisco J. Riquel-Ligero (University of Huelva, Spain & Isabel I University, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3156-3.ch003
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Abstract

The main aim of this chapter is to propose and test a model to reflect on the factors that, associated with the tourist development of a destination, are perceived by the local community to be influential at the personal and collective level, as well as to what extent they impact people's satisfaction with the community they belong to. An enclave with a fishing tradition in the province of Huelva (Spain) was selected for primary data collection. PLS technique was used for hypotheses testing. It is concluded the contingent nature of the categorisation of the impacts with an influence on the local community's perception of tourism development, in addition to the inexistence of a direct relationship between the perception of the impacts on a personal level and residents' satisfaction with their community, although an indirect relationship exists through the perception of the effects on the town as a whole.
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Theoretical Framework

It is well known that tourism can have a positive or negative impact on local communities (López and Palomino, 2008; Suess, 2014), taking into account that, as Vela and Molina (2009) state, having a hospitable local population is a key factor for a tourism destination's success. In this line, it is worth noting the works authored by Ramón-Cardona (2014, 2015), in which the importance of the interaction between residents and visitors is highlighted. Undoubtedly, therefore, it is necessary to know the local populations' perceptions of the tourism development model implemented by decision-makers on the matter in a given territory. An interest that has been expressed in an ample number of scientific papers that try to delimit the factors that influence those perceptions (Belisle & Hoy, 1980; Liu & Var, 1987; Long, Perdue, & Allen, 1990; Lankford & Howard, 1994; Akis, Peristianis, & Warner, 1996; Chen, 2000; Jurowski & Gursoy, 2004; Gutiérrez, 2010; Vargas, Plaza, & Porras, 2009, 2011; Nunkoo & Gursoy, 2012; Nunkoo & So, 2016; Masa’deh et. al, 2017; among others).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Environmental Perception: It refers to the process by which humans organize and interpret elements of their environment (for instance, tourism development and its impacts). This perception is affected by the individual’s scheme of values, past experiences, expectations, motivations and needs. The understanding of the reality perceived by people (subjective, therefore) is paramount in explaining their behaviour.

Impacts of Tourism: Positive or negative changes in destinations which occur as a consequence of the industry development. They are usually divided into three categories economic, social and environmental effects.

Social Exchange Theory: In general, it proposes that social behaviour is the result of an exchange process guided to maximize benefits and minimize costs. According to this theory, developed by sociologist George Homans, people weigh the potential benefits and risks of social relationships. In the tourism field, this is the theory most frequently applied by researchers to understand residents' attitudes towards tourism development. Several authors state that the perception of impacts (positive and negative ones) derived from tourism is the principal variable for explaining residents' attitude towards tourism.

Resident: A person who lives or has their home in a place.

Partial Least Square Method: This is a multivariate statistical regression technique that allows estimating complex cause-effect relationship models with latent variables. It is one of several covariance-based statistical methods which are often referred to as structural equation modelling or SEM.

Residents’ Attitudes: The set of residents’ beliefs, predispositions, and behaviours (or intended behaviours) toward specific aspects of tourism.

Satisfaction: The positive feeling experienced when expectations are met or surpassed.

Residents’ Satisfaction: The positive feeling about living conditions in the community where they live. These living conditions are affected by tourism development. A variety of dimensions could be considered to assess the overall level of satisfaction, such as satisfaction with public services, with the health system, with the environment, with entertainment opportunities, with the local economy, etc.

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