Purpose of the study: To analyze residents’ attitudes toward tourism and its development in the area around Gardaland, the largest theme park in Italy. Residents’ perceptions about economic, sociocultural and environmental impacts are registered and linked to their support for tourism development. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of 163 residents in the area around Gardaland. Participants’ perceptions were measured through a questionnaire, including multiple items for each construct. Data were analyzed through both descriptive statistics and multivariate techniques. Findings: Data show that residents are aware about the economic benefits of tourism and are not particularly afraid of sociocultural negative effects. On the contrary, they express concerns for environmental aspects: above all there is a strong perception (4.43 on a five-point scale) that tourism is the cause for vehicular traffic problems. More interestingly the findings isolate residents’ perceptions about the impact of theme park tourism. On average, a significant support (3.60 on a five-point scale) for further tourism development emerges. Such support is statistically and inversely linked to residents’ perception about the negative impact of theme park tourism. Originality/value: Whilst there is an increasing interest for understating residents’ attitude to tourism and its development, to our knowledge no in-depth study considers residents’ perceptions about the effect of theme-park tourism in their area. This research intends to fill this gap. Research limitations/implications: The study took place in a very specific area. This represents both a strength (the findings enrich available knowledge on residents’ attitudes to tourism) and a weakness (the generalizability of findings is limited). Practical implications: The findings are relevant to destination managers, as they suggest that residents’ support for further tourism development may arise by balancing, at least until a certain point, the negative environmental impact with personal economic benefits.

Gardaland and its surrounding area: a study of residents’ attitudes to tourism development

CASSIA, FABIO;UGOLINI, Marta Maria;Baratta Rossella
2013-01-01

Abstract

Purpose of the study: To analyze residents’ attitudes toward tourism and its development in the area around Gardaland, the largest theme park in Italy. Residents’ perceptions about economic, sociocultural and environmental impacts are registered and linked to their support for tourism development. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of 163 residents in the area around Gardaland. Participants’ perceptions were measured through a questionnaire, including multiple items for each construct. Data were analyzed through both descriptive statistics and multivariate techniques. Findings: Data show that residents are aware about the economic benefits of tourism and are not particularly afraid of sociocultural negative effects. On the contrary, they express concerns for environmental aspects: above all there is a strong perception (4.43 on a five-point scale) that tourism is the cause for vehicular traffic problems. More interestingly the findings isolate residents’ perceptions about the impact of theme park tourism. On average, a significant support (3.60 on a five-point scale) for further tourism development emerges. Such support is statistically and inversely linked to residents’ perception about the negative impact of theme park tourism. Originality/value: Whilst there is an increasing interest for understating residents’ attitude to tourism and its development, to our knowledge no in-depth study considers residents’ perceptions about the effect of theme-park tourism in their area. This research intends to fill this gap. Research limitations/implications: The study took place in a very specific area. This represents both a strength (the findings enrich available knowledge on residents’ attitudes to tourism) and a weakness (the generalizability of findings is limited). Practical implications: The findings are relevant to destination managers, as they suggest that residents’ support for further tourism development may arise by balancing, at least until a certain point, the negative environmental impact with personal economic benefits.
Tourism impact; residents' attitudes; sustainable tourism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/866372
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