The socio-cultural impacts of tourism : a study of the local residents' perception of tourism development in Wuzhen, China

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The socio-cultural impacts of tourism : a study of the local residents' perception of tourism development in Wuzhen, China

 

Author: Zhao, Zhuoyang
Title: The socio-cultural impacts of tourism : a study of the local residents' perception of tourism development in Wuzhen, China
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2005
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Tourism -- China -- Wuzhen (Zhejiang Sheng)
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xii, 99 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1896908
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5555
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to examine the residents' perceived socio-cultural impacts in Wuzhen and to explore the relationships among resident's characteristics, resident's perception of tourism's socio-cultural impacts, and resident's support for additional tourism development. The study integrated key socio-cultural impacts, key factors affecting resident's perceptions, and relevant theories and models used in tourism impacts research to form a balanced questionnaire. In March, 2005, about 300 survey questionnaires were sent out by the three assistants in Wuzhen, and 273 questionnaires were collected back. Survey results revealed that overall, local residents of Wuzhen showed a mix of both positive and negative perception. In terms of the positive impacts, residents perceived all nine potential impacts of tourism. The top 3 most positive impacts are (1) better roads and infrastructure; (2) cultural exchange; and (3) employment opportunities. Concerning the negative impacts, local residents identified eight critical negative impacts tourism has on Wuzhen among which, litter was considered to be the most negative tourism impact, followed by increased cost of living and traffic congestion.
In addition, the survey also revealed that: (l)the residents who were economically dependent on tourism, who were more attached to the community, who lived closer to the tourist zone, who were female tended to perceive tourism's socio-cultural impacts more positively; (2) the residents who were economically dependent on tourism, who were more attached to the community, and who were female were more likely to support tourism's further development; (3)the residents who perceived tourism impacts positively tended to be more supportive to the further tourism development in Wuzhen. The study found that the economic dependency factor was the most significant factor affecting residents' perceptions, hence confirming the usefulness and effectiveness of social exchange theory in explaining residents' perceptions and attitudes.

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