RESIDENT PERCEPTIONS OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN MAINE
Free (open access)
Volume 11 (2016), Issue 3
375 - 384
M. SCACCIA & S. DE URIOSTE-STONE
Tourism has long played a central role in the economy, culture, and livelihoods of the people of the State of Maine. The long-term sustainability of this industry in the state is crucial for the current and future prosperity of both businesses and residents. Sustainable tourism has emerged as a key concept over the past few decades and its tenets have clear applicability within the state. Research on residents’ perceptions of tourism impacts and development suggest these assessments to be highly important if a community’s tourism industry is to be successful and sustainable in the long term. This study used the SUS-TAS scale modified by Sirakaya (2007) to explore the perceptions of residents who participate in outdoor recreation about sustainable tourism at the state level, and determine if attitudinal differences exist across demographic groups. An online survey was used to assess perceptions following Dillman’s ‘tailored design method’ to refine the overall quality of the instrument, and increase response level. The sample consisted of Maine resident outdoor recreation users. Factor analysis with varimax rotation revealed that seven-factor categories on residents’ attitudes of sustainable tourism accounted for 65.7% of the variance in the responses. The factor on residents’ perceived social costs of tourism accounted for more of the total variance than any of the other six factors. The results of this research will provide new insights into essential needs for tourism planning in Maine.
factor analysis, outdoor recreation, psychometrics, SUS-TAS, survey research