The intention of this chapter is to provide some information about the concept sustainable tourism and some views of international organizations that perceive and stimulate sustainable tourism. Furthermore, it depicts the importance of tourism to the national economy of Curaçao, by explaining tourism contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), job creation, and the foreign exchange earnings. The background of the research study, including its research questions and sub-questions are also explained. The purpose of the study and its limitations are also highlighted in this chapter.
The concept of sustainable tourism development is a broad concept and is being practiced in many tourist destinations around the world. Swarbrooke (1999) in his attempt to provide useful information for managers in the tourism industry and for public sector practitioners discovered that not everybody thinks about the fundamental reason for sustainable tourism. Instead people prefer to simply view the concept as a good idea. Swarbrooke (1999) further described a list of benefits that was compiled during the Globe ’90 Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Some of the benefits are described below:
Encouragement an understanding of the impacts of tourism on the natural, cultural and human environments.
Ensure a fair distribution of benefits and costs.
Generation of local employment, both directly in the tourism sector and in various support and resources management sectors
Stimulation of domestic industries – hotels and other lodging facilities, restaurants and other food services, transportation services systems, arts and guide services.
Generation of foreign exchange for the country, and infuses capital and new money into the local economy
The seeking of decision-making among all segments of the society, including local populations, so that tourism and other resource users can co-exist. It also incorporates planning and zoning, which ensure tourism development appropriate to the carrying capacity of the ecosystem.
Creating recreational facilities, which can be used by local communities as well as domestic and international visitors. It also encourages and helps pay for preserving the archaeological sites, and historic buildings and districts.
Enhancement local community esteem and provides the opportunity for greater understanding and communication among people of diverse backgrounds.
Demonstrating the importance of natural and cultural resources to a community’s economic and social well-being and can help to preserve them.
That sustainable tourism monitors, assesses and manages the impact of tourism, develops reliable methods of environmental accountability, and reverses any negative effect.
For decades now, tourism is widely believed to be a panacea for economic development in several countries worldwide. Tourism development is therefore encouraged to stimulate the economy in particularly the developing countries (Huttasin, 2008). Saayman and Saayman (2006) stated that tourism has been labeled as the economic driver of the 21st century because of the multiplier effect of tourist spending and its link to almost all other industries. The United Nations (2007) argued that tourism is a very important source of foreign exchange earnings for many developing countries, (as cited in Mbaiwa, 2011). Sustainable tourism is a broad concept and is being practiced in many tourist destinations. As stated by Swarbrooke (1999), the discussion about the concept of sustainable tourism is since the 1990s of scientific interest. It started from the wider concept of sustainable development which has been with us for many centuries. Swarbrooke (1999) defines the concept sustainable development as, the development that meets a community’s needs of today without compromising the ability of people in the future to meet their needs. He further stated that the development takes a longer term perspective than is usual in human decision-making and implies a need for intervention and planning. He also cited that the concept of sustainability clearly embraces the environment, people and the economic system. Tayler and Francis (2008) stated in their findings that, if there is a lack of understanding regarding sustainability and on how to implement it in practice, could result in tokenistic references to sustainable development objectives.
In Curaçao tourism development also generates economic benefits for the community. The main findings of sustainable tourism development in Curacao are derived from the Strategic Tourism Master Plan 2010-2014, prepared by Halcrow International Partnership (2009). As stated by Halcrow International Partnership (2009), tourism has become a major contributor to the national economy of the island, and has been since 2006 the primary generator of the acceleration in the national economic growth; increasing its GDP share from NAfl. 314 million in 2004 to NAfl. 492 million in 2007. According to the figures from the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB), this growth has increased gradually over the last 4 years by NAfl. 582 million in 2008 to NAfl. 634 million in 2011. It is estimated that tourism will generate a total of Nafl. …… million in 2012
Year Curaçao’s Tourism contributin to GDP
Total expenditure in Nafl.
Total expenditure in US$
Table : Overview Tourism Expenditure from 2007 to 2011.
Source: Curaçao Tourist Board’s Research Department
Above table describes the increase in total expenditure from tourist visiting Curacao from 2007 to 2011. In addition to be the major driver of the economy tourism contributes to jobs creation, tax revenues, foreign exchange earnings and has a strong positive linkages with other sectors of the economy, particularly with trade, transportation services, real estate and financial services. Caribbean Tourism Organization (2010) defines tourism expenditure as the expenditures of international visitors to destinations, excluding payment to foreign carriers for international transport. However, this should include any other pre-payments made for goods and services received in any foreign country.
Furthermore, Halcrow International Partnership (2009) stated that for the growth in tourism in Curaçao to be sustainable, it depends on the carrying capacity and the competitiveness of the island’s tourism product, and that the benefits tourism produces could endure if they are managed properly. The carrying capacity refers to the manpower, the culture and the community that cater for the increased tourist numbers. The competitiveness of the tourism product refers to the quality of the service, ease of access, and business and regulatory environments. In addition the report stated that sustainability in tourism concerns the maintenance of the market share and the ability to continually add value to the product in order to create socio economic, environmental and cultural benefits. Halcrow International Partnership predicted that the growth objective for tourism indicates that the development of the Curaçao’s economy and living standards will continue to be heavily dependent on the performance of the tourism sector.
Figure: Tourism Competitiveness Pyramid
Sources: Srategic Tourism Master Plan 2010-2014
Above figure depicts the apex of the pyramid - sustainable growth - which is the ultimate national competitiveness in tourism in Curaçao. This growth is heavily dependent on the successful management and delivery of each of the competitive factors highlighted on the supporting layers. Any shortage in any of the component can undermine the capacity of the destination to meet the expectations of tourists. From the above pyramid can be concluded that not only tourism sector benefits from the income from tourist. To prove this statement, the research study conducted in Curaçao about Tourism Economic Impact 2007-2008 indicated that the hotel and restaurant sector, as well as wholesale and transportation sectors were the sectors with the highest spending from tourists (Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies, 2010). The report further stated that additional buying from hotels and other hospitality firms causes production elsewhere in the economy to rise, such as from utility, cleaning supplies, produce, etc and other materials required for operations. The report measured both the direct and indirect impact of tourism in Curaçao. Simpson (2009), in his attempt to investigate whether Curaçao is practicing tourism on a sustainable basis, supported the findings in the Strategic Tourism Master Plan 2010-2014, that the economic aspects, the environmental aspects and the community involved must be part of the developing sustainable tourism. Simpson (2009) further elaborated on his recommendations that to work toward sustainability in Curaçao all government departments, developers and investors must work together to promote sustainability. In fact, the belief that tourism generates substantial benefits to the national economy makes it possible for many destinations to practice tourism on a sustainable basis.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism promotes tourism as a driver for economic growth, including the development and environmental sustainability. UNWTO also stimulates tourist destinations to implement the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. Tourist destination will maximize tourism’s socio-economic practices, and at the same time minimize possible negative impacts by committing itself to promote tourism as an instrument to help reduce poverty and fostering sustainable development. UNWTO defines sustainable tourism development as tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, industry, and the environment and host communities. The principles for sustainability are the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development. A suitable balance must be established between the environmental, economic and social-cultural dimensions by making the most effective use of environmental resources, respect the social-cultural authenticity, and ensure viable, long-term economic activities to ensure a long-term development. Furthermore, the organization focuses on the fact that sustainable tourism development requires participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong political leadership to ensure participation and unanimous building.
Figure : Key Stakeholder in Sustainable Tourism
Source: Swarbrooke, J. (1999). Sustainable Tourism Management
Swarbrooke (1999) explains above table as the involvement of different organizations having and their relation in sustainable tourism. The governmental bodies are responsible for developing tourism strategies for the destination and persuading those who dominate the supply side of tourism to go ahead with their plans. The tourism industry – the supply side- is responsible for most of the tourism products the tourists buy. The media, represented by international and local media, are responsible for the constant information and marketing of the product on sustainable basis. The experts in tourism helps shape up the product, while volunteers, willing to assist in maintaining the product, are doing their utmost to help develop the product on a sustainable basis. The tourists are those who make use of the services and products offered, while on island. Ideal would be that tourist are informed about the purpose of creating a sustainable approach towards tourism. The host communities are those who are in direct contact with the tourist and are responsible for the services and goods provided.
Meanwhile, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) developed the first Destination Criteria, which are sustainable management, economic, wellbeing and cultural heritage, and environment, for the sustainable development of a tourist destination. The purpose of these criteria is to orient destination managers, communities, and businesses toward the steps that are needed to sustain their natural and cultural assets, while benefiting local communities. The Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB), as the organization responsible for tourism development on Curaçao, plays a key role in working with government departments, private sector and the community in general to build sustainability in activities that could deliver improved social, economic and environmental results. Curaçao could also benefit by adopting the GSTC Criteria.
Sustainable tourism development is a non-stop process, and constant monitoring of impacts is critical. In addition, the necessary preventive and or corrective measures must be introduced whenever is necessary. At the same time a high level of tourist satisfaction must be maintained to ensure a meaningful experience to the tourist. One of the most important elements that physically and actively contribute to a sustainable growth of a tourist destination is the employees working in the tourism industry. These employees could be considered as an important determinant for practicing sustainable tourism. They are the visitor’s first contact and the main providers of the services and products offered. Tourism employees must at all time have a positive attitude toward a sustainable development of a tourist destination. Pfeffer & Sutton (2006) and Wirtz, Heracleour & Nitin (2008), stated in their research findings that employees are vital sources of tourism and hospitality firms' success and competitive advantage, as cited in Daskin & Tezer, (2012). Solnet and Kralj (2011), in their investigation to study the attitude of employees in tourism and hospitality industry, found out that the ever-growing use of technology cannot replace human interactions. These kind of interactions remain an integral part of the tourism and hospitality industry and they are without any doubt extremely important to the creation of memorable experiences; either good or bad.
Halcrow International Partnership (2009) stated in its report that tourism in Curaçao has been declared by the Island Government of Curaçao as the priority for the island’s national economy and that the tourism sector in Curaçao employs a substantial share of labor force. The report stated the following figures. In 2007 the sector employed an estimate of 7,594 people, representing 12,4% of the total labor force, while in 2008 the sector employed 9,361 people, representing 16.6% of the total labor force in that year. Furthermore, this amount increased to 9,361 in 2008 and 10,169 people in 2009. The figures of 2008 represents a rate of 16.6% of the total labor force, while the figures of 2009 represents a total of 15.8% of the total labor in Curaçao. According to the Curaçao Tourist Board the rise in employment opportunities for 2012 are estimated at 12,848 people.
It is foreseen that over the five coming years the projected growth in employment opportunities will place tremendous pressure on Curaçao’s labor market. This accelerated growth will force the island’s tourism sector to recruit people from the abroad to help contribute to the island’s sustainable growth in the tourism industry (Halcrow International Partnership, 2009). Evaluating these scenarios, it can be concluded that tourism generates employment opportunities and income for the community with a strong indication that this development improves the standard of living of the population of Curaçao. Working towards a sustainable tourism requires involvement of both the local employees, and the employees recruited abroad. Employees working in the tourism sector are of vital importance for the continuous development of a tourist destination.
1.3 Research question and sub questions
As stated in some literature reviews employees’ perceptions and attitude are critical in creating a one of kind experience for the tourist. They are vital sources of tourism and hospitality firms’ success and competitive advantage, and that their human interactions with the tourists remain a defining characteristic of the hospitality industry (Pfeffer & Sutton, 2006; Wirtz, Heracleour & Nitin, 2008; Solnet & Kralj, 2011). This raises the questions: To what extent is there a relationship between tourism employees’ perception of and their attitude, and their support for a sustainable development of Curaçao’s tourism industry? Tourism employees (recruited locally and abroad) reside in Curaçao and are part of community. For this research study, the same theory of Long and Kayat (2011), used to investigate local residents’ perceptions and attitudes, has been used to investigate tourism employees’ perceptions of and their attitudes to support tourism. This study has been conducted considering "sustainable tourism development" as an important determinative to measure to what extent is there a relationship between tourism employees’ perception of and their attitude, and their support for a sustainable development of Curaçao’s tourism industry. This study also explored how demographic factors, (such as age, gender and ethnicity, place of birth, marital status and level of education, household monthly income, job status and length of residency), explained tourism employees’ perception and their support for tourism in Curaçao.
This research study endeavors to clarify the following problem statement: To what extent is there a relationship between tourism employees’ perception of and their attitude towards sustainable tourism, and their support for a sustainable development of Curaçao’s tourism industry? The variables tested were three independent and the dependent variables.
The independent variables were:
What are the socio-demographic characteristics of the residents?
How do residents perceive tourism impact and how do they evaluate these impacts.
Do residents with different socio-demographic characteristics differ in their perceptions and evaluation of tourism impacts, and their support for tourism development?
The dependent variable was:
Which of the variables under study explain the residents’ support for tourism development?
If the ideal of sustainable tourism development should be approached, it must be through increased awareness of actions involved and through partnership of among others private sector and local business (Panakera, et al, 2011); among others business from the tourism industry. Choi and Murray (2010) supported this statement by indicating that the in local community should also be involved in this process. Contrary to the afore mentioned statements, Tatoglu, Edal, Osgur & Azakli (2002) stated in their findings that, tourism may cause gradual change in a society’s values, beliefs and cultural practices and that local people may be inclined to change their lifestyle. Not to forget the environmental aspects, the study of Choi and Murray (2010) also found out that a community’s physical environmental should be protected, and proper ethics and standard should be maintained through training and education programs. Despite of the fact that the relationship between environmental sustainability and support for tourism was not statistically significant, the relationship and the results of these two variables could be important determines for a sustainable tourism development in Curaçao.
1.4 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to shed some light on how tourism employees in Curaçao perceive sustainable tourism impacts and its development and their willingness to support. Guided by the theory of Long and Kayat (2011), this research study has been conducted with three independent variables (socio-demographic, tourism impact and the overall evaluation of tourism) and the dependent variable (support for tourism). The hypotheses tested are:
The difference among employees’ socio-demographic characteristics with respect to the perception of sustainable tourism impacts, overall evaluation of sustainable tourism impacts and their support for sustainable tourism.
The independent variables (socio-demographic characteristics, employees’ perceptions of sustainable tourism impacts, employees’ evaluation of sustainable tourism impacts) do not significantly explain the dependent variable (support for sustainable tourism development).
In order to avoid bias or error, a multi-item scale has been used and correlated. For this research study a quantitative data collection approach were used to collect as much data as possible. As mentioned earlier, tourism employees are the essence to creating a one of kind experience for the tourist. These findings could provide helpful information about the employee’s, perception and behavior on sustainable tourism. In addition to the aforementioned, the results of this research study could provide useful information to assist tourism planners, policy makers, tourism strategists, and tourism promoters in formulating plans and policies to gain employees’ support for tourism and guarantee that employees’ contributions add value to a continued successful development of Curaçao’s tourism industry.
The sample size for this research study, set by the university, is 100 respondents. Taking into account the constant turnover and in order to collect data close to the response rate the researcher of this research study will focus on a maximum of 100 respondents and a minimum of 75 respondents. Another aspect of consideration is the amount of time available to collecting data, which has been set at 2 weeks. A quantitative approach has been used to collect data in a relatively quick and convenient manner. As stated in the Strategic Tourism Master Plan (2009) the tourism sector on Curaçao is divided into 5 subsectors, namely the hotels, restaurants, dive shops, tour operators and attractions. The amount of employees per subsector was derived from the total hotel rooms and the total restaurants seats ratio. An explanation of this calculation is depicted in the section Participants of Chapter 3.
1.6 Setup of this thesis
The remainder of this paper is organized into four chapters. The next chapter provides an overview of the literature review about local residents’ perception and support for tourism. It also describes the independent and dependent variables of the conceptual model of Long and Kayat (2011), which has been used to study tourism employees’ perceptions and support toward sustainable tourism in Curaçao. Chapter 3 presents the research methodology in terms of the procedures followed and the target population selected that has participated in this research study, including the instruments used to unfold the problem statement. The following chapter provides the analysis of the research findings, while the last chapter provides the conclusions and recommendations derived from the research findings.
Chapter 2 Literature Review
The literature review in this chapter briefly explains the conceptual model of Long and Kayat (2011), used to measure residents’ perception of tourism impact and their support for tourism development. It also describes how the independent variables and the dependent variable influenced each other. The study explored how socio-demographic factors influenced the perception and the support level of the residents and how residents perceived the impacts of tourism in their area. Besides the findings of Long and Kayat (2011), secondary data about the discussion of, including some strengths and weakness on the topic are also described in this chapter.
2.2. Conceptual Model Long and Kayat 2011
Figure : Conceptual model Long and Kayat (2011)
Source: European Journal of Tourism Research
The researchers Long and Kayat (2011) depicted the above mentioned conceptual model to measure local residents’ perception of tourism impact and their support for tourism development. Long and Kayat (2011) used three independent and one dependent variables. The three independent variables are the socio-demographic characteristics of the residents, the perception of the tourism impacts and the overall evaluation of the tourism impact. The dependent variable is the variable that measured the support for tourism development. According to the conceptual model of Long and Kayat (2011), residents’ perceptions of tourism impacts, their overall evaluation of tourism impacts and their support for tourism development are determined by their socio-demographic characteristics. Residents’ socio demographic characteristics, their perceptions of tourism impacts and overall evaluation of tourism impacts determine their support for tourism development. Guided by the Social Exchange Theory, the study attempted to test the association between the three independent and one dependent variable mentioned above.
With regard to the profile of the respondents, the result of the research of Long and Kayat (2011) indicated that 62.7% of the participants were male, concentrated in the age of 25-66, which represent 69.1% of the male gender in the area that the study were conducted. The majority of the respondents were married (81.1%) and born in the area. The ethnic group in the area had a representation of 65.7%. A total of 77.1% had jobs not related to tourism and 65.2% of the total respondents had been living in the area for more than 20 years. With regard to the education level, there was a concentration at secondary level of 32.8% and high school level of 21.9%. College graduates constituted 17.4% of the sample, and 12.9% completed university-level education. The monthly income of the majority of the respondents, which represented 84.1%, was below US$...........
In terms of perception towards tourism, the present study found out that residents supported the statement that tourism creates positive socio-cultural and environmental impacts and favor to value positive socio-cultural as well as environmental impacts more that the economic impacts. Another outstanding finding of the research study of Long and Kayat (2011) showed that support for tourism development is strong among the residents and that they strongly believed that their community should support tourism development in their area. In addition, not only were the residents willing to be personal involved in future development of tourism, but did also express their welcome for more tourists in the area. With respect to the socio-demographic characteristics, the findings of Long and Kayat (2011) described a strong influence on residents’ perception of tourism impacts, evaluation of tourism impacts, and their support for tourism development. Even though the perceptions were different according to nine socio-demographic characteristics. To explain; residents with average and higher income likely favor tourism and support tourism development; they appreciate tourism’s positive impacts. This result has helped confirming the usefulness of the social exchange theory in explaining residents’ perceptions of tourism as there are indications that those residents who benefit economically from tourism are supportive of it. This result is also useful to confirm that residents’ perceptions towards tourism development are context-specific. Manwa (2012) concluded that tourism has had positive impacts, in the sense of small and medium-sized enterprises and development. Residents with lower level education (primary school holders) felt that local residents have suffered by living in a tourism destination area; they imitate the tourist behavior and relinquish cultural traditions. They also believed that tourism reduces the natural landscapes and agricultural lands in their area. These residents do not believe that tourism increase recreational opportunities for the local resident. But, still they believe that benefits of tourism exceed the cost of the people of the area. With regard to the job status, residents who depend on tourism view tourism favorably compared to those who do not depend on tourism. For age groups, the younger residents were more positive towards tourism development. Gender, place of birth, length of residency also have had limited influence on the perceptions of tourism impacts, evaluation of tourism impacts and support for tourism development. Marital status had not exhibited any significant effect on residents’ perceptions of tourism statements.
2.3 Support for tourism
The study of Long and Kayat (2011) did not provide the reason why residents’ perception is a determine for the support of tourism. The researchers recommended in their findings that further studies must find out the exact reason for this behavior, and stated that the Social Exchange Theory could be useful to explain how residents’ perceive tourism impacts and their support for tourism. Nunko and Ramksisoon (2009) stated in their findings that it does not matter what type of tourism, it depends for a great deal on the goodwill of the local community, and that it is absolutely important for policy planners and decision makers to gain the community’s support to guarantee the successful management and sustainability of the tourism industry. In another study of Nunko and Ramiksisoon (2009) is stated that positive attitude towards tourism was found to to be predominantly toward the support for tourism development, with higher perceptions of positive tourism impacts accompanying higher support for tourism. This confirms that residents’ attitude are extremely important to construct the beliefs of the residents about tourism development. Oviedo-Garcia, Castellano-Verdugo & Martin Ruiz (2008) revealed in their findings that, in order to have a sustainable planning, tourism planners must be aware of the negative effects of uncontrolled tourism development and must minimize these effects by respecting the local community’s interests. Furthermore they (Oviedo-Garcia, et al., 2008) stated that tourism planners should consider residents’ perceptions and attitude before making costly investment in new initiatives that might not be completely successful. Therefore, tourism should also be developed with the local residents’ needs and desires in mind; they are the essences that determine the lifetime experience for the visitor. Their positive attitude is critical for visitors satisfaction and repeat visits. Another factor that should be considered for a sustainable tourism is to develop evaluation indicators to monitor sustainability in a tourist destination. Park and Yoon (2011) researched the possibility to develop indicators, stated that sustainability indicators demand for adaptive learning process within the local community or a tourist destination. They also stated that when designing these measurement instruments for monitoring, sustainability in tourism destination must be based on comprehensive approaches that acknowledge the coherence between top-down and bottom-up opinion, particularly because of the complex and dynamic nature of tourism development. From the abovementioned findings the researcher of this research study was convinced to study the perceptions and support of tourism employees in Curaçao. Employees in the tourism sector, belonging to the community, should also be considered in developing new initiatives, as they are the main product and service providers in the tourism and the hospitality industry.
2.4 The socio-demographic characteristics
The study of Long and Kayat (2011) attempted to test if there is indeed an association between residents’ socio-demographic characteristics and residents’ perception of tourism impacts, their evaluation of the impacts and their support for tourism development. The outcome of the study indicated that socio-demographic characteristics do influence residents’ perceptions and their support for tourism, and stated that, in general, residents have positive perceptions towards the impacts brought by tourism, particularly with regard to the social cultural and environmental impacts. Contrary to the positive perceptions of community in the research of Long and Kayat, Nunko, Gursoy & Juwaheer (2010) stated in their findings that not only occupational identity, environmental identity and gender identity are determinants of the residents’ attitude towards tourism impacts, but they also directly influence their support without being mediated by attitude. In their conclusions they stated that, many researchers used Social Exchange Theory as their theoretical base to study locals’ perceptions and attitude to a certain degree. An important determinant of behavior, which is self-identity, has not received much attention, as stated by the researchers. As a result, they concluded in their findings that the self identity theory remain unexploited in community attitudinal studies, even though studies indicated that the self-identity of small-island resident is likely to be an important predictor of their behavior.
2.5 Perception of tourism impacts
The perception of tourism impacts were measured on both the positive and the negative impacts of the socio-cultural, economic and environmental aspects. The outcome of Long and Kayat (2011) revealed that, residents in general had positive perceptions towards the impact brought by tourism, especially with regard to the socio-cultural and environmental impacts. As a result, these residents strongly supported tourism in their area. Other secondary data about the perception of tourism impacts revealed very interesting results. Milman (2004) agreed with this statement and stated that tourism impacts brought economic benefits for the area. At the other hand Milman (2004) stated that tourism can generate several negative impacts, such as traffic conditions, crime, consumption of alcohol, sexual freedom and openness, environmental deterioration and drug addiction. Saarinen, Rogerson and Manwa (2011) revealed that the positive relation between tourism and development is not an automatic outcome, but is based on contributions between tourism businesses, communities and policy-makers. According to Marzuki (2012) other characteristics of this impact is the improvement in profit and cost to the local economy. Marzuki’s (2012) statistical figures indicated that this is due to the higher demand from tourists that in a great deal causes an increase in prices and fees of tourism products and services offered in tourist destinations. Statistical figures from Andereck, Valentine, Vogt & Knopf (2007) indicated that residents continue to attribute the impacts of quality of life to tourism development and its activities in their communities, concluding that tourism is clearly perceived as having both a positive as well as a negative effect on residents’ quality of life. Tatoglu, Erdal, Osgur and Azakli (2002), studied residents’ attitudes towards tourism impacts, found out that there are both positive and negative impacts. A negative impacts in their findings revealed that on the socio-cultural aspects, tourism caused a gradual change in society’s values and beliefs and cultural practices, concluding that by observing the tourist, local people are inclined to change their lifestyles, such as dressing, eating, entertainment and recreational activities. With regard to the positive results, tourism contributes to the revitalization of arts, crafts and local culture as well as the revitalization of cultural identity and heritage. Ryana*, Chaozhib and Zengb (2011), also found out the residents noted a series of significant improvements in their daily lives, such as improvement in roads that have led to a much cleaner living environment. One resident even experiences a renovation of his house free of charge, while non-business residents of the same village experienced an improvement in their living conditions, higher income and that visitors brought added vitality to the village. With regard to the environmental aspects, Tatoglu et al., 2002) stated that if tourism development is planned well, in terms of restoration of historic sites and buildings, establish recreational areas and parks, improve infrastructure system in order to prevent water and air pollution, are all positive contributions to the region. One prominent finding of Long and Kayat (2011) was that residents valued the socio-cultural and environmental impacts of tourism much more than the economic impacts, and they support tourism development, but not less for its economic benefits. From the research study of Long and Kayat (2011) can be concluded that, in general, residents are inclined to support tourism if they feel that tourism brings them more benefits than costs. For the residents it does not matter if the benefits are socio-cultural, economical or environmental.
2.6 Evaluation of tourism impacts
Evaluating the tourism impacts, Long and Kayat (2011) concluded that residents value the social-cultural and environment impacts of tourism more than the economic impacts, and that leaders should be more attentive to residents’ concern and engage residents in the development to gain more support. In addition, Long and Kayat (2011) suggested involving residents in the decision-making process; residents are willing to be involved and participate in activities. Their statistical analysis also revealed that when residents perceive a positive impact, does not matter if it is the economic, socio-cultural or environmental, residents are incline to accepts the exchanges and therefore support tourism development in their country. Other secondary data have also revealed some interesting results. Lapeyre (2011) stated in his research that a large majority of studies about tourism impacts tend to focus on financial and quantifiable benefits, such as employment opportunities, the cash value of goods and services provided and the income paid to community and that these results remain mainly at the aggregate level and fail to evaluate positive and negative impacts at the very local and household level. Moellera, Dolniarb and Leischa (2011) revealed in their study that, one possible approach to stimulate the tourism industry to become more environmentally sustainable is to give the industry proof of evidence that environmental protection and benefits maximization do not need to be mutually exclusive but can indeed be complimentary business goals.
In Curaçao efforts are being done to improve tourism development on the island. Hence, this effort should be accompanied by tourism employees’ support toward a sustainable development of Curaçao’s tourism industry. This research study describes valuable insights of how these employees perceive the impacts of sustainable tourism and to what extent they support
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