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.
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..
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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
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).
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.
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).
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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