Influence of Residents’ Place Relationship on Perceived Impact of Community-based Tourism


Community-based tourism may contribute to the sustainable development of a community but may also have negative impact. The relationships residents have with their own communities affect their perceived impact from tourism and, in turn, their participation and support. This study examines the correlation between residents' place relationship and perceived tourism impact in order to inform the development of community tourism. The study was conducted in Greater Tainan, Taiwan. A total of 393 valid questionnaires were collected. Through factor analysis, factors for place relationship and perceived tourism impact were extracted. Regression analysis was then applied to understand the influence of these factors. Analysis reveals significant correlation between place relationship and perceived tourism impact. Two factors were extracted for place relationship: "community participation" and "place attachment". Three factors were extracted for perceived tourism impact: "economic impact", "environmental impact" and "socio-cultural impact". The relationship between the factors is as follows: "community participation" significantly affects "economic impact" and "socio-cultural impact"; "place attachment" significantly affects "environmental impact" and "socio-cultural impact". Evidently, the different place relationships residents have with their communities also affect their perception differently. Both types of residents are concerned with the socio-cultural impact. However, residents active in community participation are more sensitive to the economic impact, while those with strong place attachment demonstrate stronger feelings about environmental change. Residents may be assigned to deal with different types of tourism impactrelated problems according to their types of place relationship for optimal effectiveness.

Keywords: Community-based tourismplace relationshipperceived tourism impact


As socio-economic development and quality of life improve, people also start to attach greater

importance to leisure needs. Communities provide diversified and localized environmental resources.

Leveraging talent, industry and culture in the community helps to promote its development, build

connection among residents, and protect local cultural and natural resources. It also promotes local

construction so that infrastructure is updated and maintained, thereby increasing local employment

opportunities and income. All of the above contribute to the sustainable development of the community.

Problem Statement

Community-based tourism refers to residents taking the initiative to develop tourism within their

own community. It emphasizes using natural local ecological resources, human resources (local

residents), and landscape resources for tourism development. The cohesion of community awareness is

the driving force behind the development of community tourism. When residents are willing to participate

in tourism and even spearhead its planning, the planning process becomes more efficient, fair and rational

(Buanes, Jentoft, Maurstad, Søreng, & Karlsen, 2005).

The key to success in community tourism is residents' participation (Zhang, & Lei, 2012).

However, negative impact may also result in the process, such as environmental destruction or conflicts in

behavioural patterns or consumer attitudes. Many communities are adversely affected by tourism, with

their residents taking the brunt of the impact, such as environmental pollution, economic mayhem even,

or distortion or losses of cultural traditions. To avoid this undesirable outcome, scholars have carried out

research on community participation and tourism development issues, studying the relationship between

tourism development and the community and the community's role in promoting tourism development

(Taylor, 1995). So came the concept of community involved tourism development.

Community tourism helps maintain the local culture and traditions, and educated tourists become

genuinely concerned about the local residents. Participatory community tourism can promote social

interests (Weaver, 2001). Community tourism also promotes environmental education and community

participation, improves the protection of eco-tourism areas, encourages non-consumptive appreciation of

natural resources, and raises environmental awareness (Zambrano, Broadbent, & Durham, 2010).

Negative impact on local residents from the development of eco-tourism, which is a form of community

tourism, may include the influx of newcomers, frustration in the younger residents, and cultural depravity.

(Farooquee, Budal, & Maikhuri, 2008). It may also include mounting infrastructure costs, conflict with

the indigenous culture, and the direct or indirect deterioration of the ecological environment (Lee &

Jamal, 2008). It is therefore important to explore the impact of tourism on the inhabitants (Gunn & Var,

2002; Sebele, 2010).

Although the conception of community tourism is good and creates great resources for

environmental education, its impact on various aspects of the community must be considered. The

negative impact, in particular, should be addressed and preventative measures should be taken ahead of

time. As such, this study seeks to understand the impact of community tourism development and its

correlation with place relationship in the community..

Research Questions

The principles of community tourism are based on small groups and, as the name suggests, based

in the local community with an emphasis on community empowerment and resource protection during the

development process.

Place relationship is an abstract concept involving residents and the environment. Place

attachment, on the other hand, is an emotional link generated through an understanding of the

environment, experience, and identity (Seamon & Sowers, 2008). When people consider themselves as

part of the environment, they start to develop attachment behaviour. That is, when a place represents

positive value and meaning to its people, a positive emotional connection is generated between the place

and the people, referred to as place attachment (Hidalgo & Hernandez, 2001). That includes place identity

and place dependence, where place dependence refers to residents becoming functionally dependent of a

place that fulfils their specific needs. If the place fulfills specific emotional needs, the residents develop

place identity (Bricker & Kerstetter, 2000).

However, development may also have an impact on the community. “Impact” means a series of

events related to a particular activity, its various aspects causing changes, benefits, or new conditions and

all of the above possessing both sides of a coin. Orams (1995) classifies tourism impacts as direct or

indirect effects by economic, social, cultural, and environmental factors. Many studies have also shown

tourism brings not just positive impacts but also possibly negative ones for a place (Bachleitner & Zins,

1999; Dyer, Gursoy, Sharma, & Carter, 2007; Kaltenborn, 1998; Uysal, Sirgy, Woo, & Kim, 2016; Yoon,

Gursoy, & Chen, 2001). Lee and Jamal (2008) point out the environmental impacts of tourism may

include: reduced access to environmental resources, loss of infrastructure costs, conflict with indigenous

cultures, and direct or indirect deterioration of the ecological environment. Therefore, measures should be

taken to avoid or mitigate such impact at the start of development.

It can be concluded from the above literature that community tourism refers to a bottom-up form

of tourism that utilizes a community's local industry and human resources in line with its characteristics.

Considerations for its impact on residents may rank even higher in importance than strategic planning.

Purpose of the Study

In this study, the influence of place relationship on the perceptive tourism impact is discussed in

depth, i. e how this influence performs. The research hypothesis is as follows: The place relationship of

local residents has a significant influence their perceived tourism impact.

Figure 1: Figure 01. The research structure
Figure 01. The research structure
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Research Methods

Questionnaire design

This study subdivides 3 dimensions of tourism impact into 11 questions/items based on literature,

with the dimensions being "environmental impact", "socio-cultural impact" and "economic impact". For

place relationship there are 6 question/items under the dimensions of "place attachment" and "community

participation". Each variable is measured on a five-point Likert scale.

Analytical method

Descriptive statistics is first applied to calculate the average and standard deviation of each

variable to look for any consistency in opinions. In order to improve stability and consistency, an item

analysis was carried out. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was then applied to extract meaningful

factors out of items under various dimensions. In the analysis process, the KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin)

sampling suitability test and the Bartlett sphericity test were used to determine whether the data was

suitable for factor analysis. Then, Cronbach's alpha was calculated individually to confirm the reliability

of the factors (Hair, 2010). Finally, a multiple regression analysis was applied to explore the relationship

between the independent and dependent variables, using the linear relationships between the two to

achieve a predictive effect.

Scope of study and sampling method

Tainan City is the cradle of Taiwan's history and culture, boasting a wealth of tourism resources

and development potential. Selection was made based on the type of environmental resources

communities have, and communities with more active development of tourism activities were chosen.

Stratified quota sampling was used and then a comparison was made with the population to ensure the

profile of the samples correspond with the population. A total of 432 questionnaires were sent out, and

393 valid and 39 invalid ones were collected.

Figure 2: Figure 02. Research area
Figure 02. Research area
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Reliability test

The results were compiled and analysed using the corrected item-to-total correlation and

Cronbach's α coefficient after an item was deleted. The tourism impact dimension contains 11 items, with

a Cronbach's α coefficient of 0.817; the place relationship dimension consists of 6 items, with a

Cronbach's α coefficient of 0.859.

The influence of place relationship on perceived tourism impact

The causal relationships of the variables were explored by regression analysis. Tourism impact

was treated as a dependent variable and place relationship as an independent variable. Tourism impact is

shown to significantly influence the perception of tourism impact. The standardized regression coefficient

is 0.335 (t = 7.034, P ≦ 0.001) (Table 1), falling under a medium to large effect size. This finding shows

residents' place relationship significantly influences perceived tourism impact.

Figure 3: Table 01. Regression analysis for place relationship and tourism impact
Table 01.  Regression analysis for place relationship and tourism impact
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Factor analysis for place relationship and tourism impact

The study applies factor analysis to extract factors. KMO and Bartlett test scale were first used to

verify the adequacy of factor analysis, and then the extracted factors are named .

§ Factor analysis for place relationship

The results of KMO and Bartlett tests results are shown in Table 2 below. The KMO value is

0.781. The significance of Bartlett's sphericity test is <0.05, showing significance is reached and

factor analysis is suitable. Results from the shaft component matrix test were named, according

to the composition of factors and in reference to past literature, as "community participation" and

" place attachment", as follows:

Figure 4: Factor analysis for place relationship
Factor analysis for place relationship
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Factor analysis for tourism impact

After deleting the double-loaded item A6, the test results were renamed, according to the

composition of factors, as "environmental impact", "economic impact" and "social culture impact" as


Figure 5: Factor analysis for tourism impact
Factor analysis for tourism impact
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Multiple Regression Analysis of Place Relationship and Tourism Impact Factors

Causal relationship between the factors

The above factor analysis reveals the following structure for the two dimensions under research,

place relationship and perceived tourism impact as shown in Figure 3 .

Figure 6: Figure 03. Structure diagram of the factors and variable relationships
Figure 03. Structure diagram of the factors and variable relationships
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Effect of place relationship on perceived tourism impact

Considering the collinearity of multiple dependent items, multivariate regression analysis was

applied first in order to avoid the probability of type I error amplification. The results showeded that X1

and, X2 had significant effect on Y1, Y2, and Y3, so individual multiple regression analysis could be

performed. Regression analysis was used to examine cause and effect relationships individually. When

the environmental impact is set as the dependent variable and place attachment and community

participation the independent variables, place attachment appears to have significant effect on

environmental impact, with a standardized regression coefficient of 0.141 (t = 2.817, P ≦ 0.001) (Table 4).

Evidently, when residents feel a strong place attachment, they show more obvious perception of their

living environment being polluted, the peace and quiet being disturbed by tourist intrusions, traffic

congestion, and even threats to the natural environment. In other words, the stronger their place

attachment, the greater environmental impact they feel. This result coincides with studies by Kaltenborn

(1998) and Lee and Jamal (2008). Residents with stronger place attachment also feel a greater threat to

their lives (Vargas-Sánchez, Porras-Bueno, & de los Ángeles Plaza-Mejía, 2013).

Figure 7: Table 04. Regression analysis: place attachment, community participation, and environmental impact
Table 04. Regression analysis: place attachment, community participation, and environmental impact
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With the economic impact as the dependent variable and place attachment and community

participation as independent variables, community participation is shown to have a significant effect on

the economic impact. The standardized regression coefficient was 0.311 (t = 6.467, P ≦ 0.001) (Table 5).

Therefore, when residents actively participate in community organizations, handle community activities

and foster deep friendships, they also tend to put hope in seeing tourism bring more work experience to

the community, increase income and raise living standards. This result is the same as studies by Orams

(1995) and Weaver (2001). They argue that in community participation, residents regard community

tourism as a means to promote economic recovery.

Figure 8: Table 05. Regression analysis: place attachment, community participation, and economic impact
Table 05. Regression analysis: place attachment, community participation, and economic impact
See Full Size >

With the socio-culture impact as the dependent variable and place attachment and community

participation as independent variables, both place attachment and community participation were shown to

have significant effects on socio-culture impact. The standardized regression coefficients were 0.297 (t =

5.606, P ≦ 0.001) and 0.188 (t = 3.556, P ≦ 0.001) (Table 6). Evidently, residents and those involved in

community organizations alike see their personal confidence and their own understanding of the

community's history and culture grow as tourism develops in the community. This result coincides with

the studies of Olya and Gavilyan (2016) and Sheldon and Abenoja (2001).

Figure 9: Table 06. Regression analysis: place attachment, community participation, and socio-cultural impact
Table 06. Regression analysis: place attachment, community participation, and socio-cultural impact
See Full Size >


Community-based tourism can help increase local income and employment opportunities and

contribute to the sustainable development and management of a community. On the other hand, it may

also cause a negative impact. In light of the fact community tourism relies heavily on the participation

and support of the residents, this study attempts to understand the interaction between place relationship

and perceived tourism impact to inform community tourism development.

The results show that place relationship exerts great influence on the perception of tourism impact.

Among various place relationship factors, "place attachment" significantly affects environmental and

socio-cultural impact, and "community participation” clearly influences economic and socio-cultural

impact. In other words, residents active in community participation are more sensitive to the economic

impact, while residents with stronger place attachment can more readily perceive environment changes.

Residents with both types of place relationship are concerned about social, historical and cultural impact.

Therefore, residents with different types of place relationship will have sensitivities to different

types of tourism impact. Residents with strong community participation may be assigned to address the

community's economic development and economic impact, while those with strong place attachment are

great candidates to address environmental development and environmental impact. Both types are

concerned about socio-cultural impact, which may therefore be discussed and managed by all residents.

Furthermore, reinforcing place relationships in various ways helps improve their perception of tourism

impact and indirectly affect their attitude toward the development of community-based tourism. All in all,

enhancing residents' place relationships and reducing undesirable impact from community-based tourism

contributes positively to the development of community tourism.


This study was supported by a grant from the National Science Council, Taiwan, Republic of

China, under the project MOST 105 2511-S-006-014.


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