Does living in the vicinity of heritage tourism sites influence residents’ perceptions and attitudes?

S. Mostafa Rasoolimanesh, Babak Taheri, Martin Gannon, Ali Vafaei-Zadeh, Haniruzila Hanifah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study investigates whether the perceptions and attitudes of residents living within the vicinity of heritage tourism sites differ from those living further afield. It examines residents’ attitudes toward tourism development; community attachment; environment and culture attitudes; economic gain; and involvement, alongside the moderating role of distance from heritage tourism sites. In doing so, it investigates how the aforementioned factors influence residents’ perceptions of tourism development in their city. Data was collected from inhabitants of Kashan and Tabriz, two historic cities couched within Iran’s growing heritage tourism sector, and analyzed using partial least squares - structural equation modeling. The findings demonstrate significant differences between the perceptions of tourism impacts, economic gain, environmental and cultural attitudes, and involvement between residents living within the vicinity of heritage tourism sites and those living further afield. However, these findings contradicted the hypotheses; identifying higher positive perceptions, environmental and cultural attitudes, economic gain, and involvement for residents living far from heritage tourism sites. Further, the findings did not support the moderating role of distance for the effects of influencing factors on residents’ perceptions. Therefore, this study proffers significant theoretical contributions and practical implications with regards to developing sustainable tourism in Iran.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1317
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Volume27
Issue number9
Early online date5 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • distance from tourism sites
  • heritage tourism
  • Iran
  • moderating effects
  • Residents’ perceptions
  • vicinity to tourism sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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