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Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 105–123 | Cite as

Residents’ Perceived Quality Of Life in a Cultural-Heritage Tourism Destination

  • Myunghee Mindy Jeon
  • Myunghwa (Michelle) Kang
  • Edward Desmarais
Article

Abstract

Seasonal phenomena for a tourism destination may be key factors influencing residents’ perceived quality of life, in particular, during peak tourism seasons. Furthermore, these challenges may influence residents’ attitudes toward tourism support in the host community. Numerous studies have discussed the major impacts of tourism, such as economic benefits, social concerns, environmental sustainability, and their associations with residents’ attitudes toward tourism support in the host community. However, few studies have incorporated attributes of seasonal factors into variables regarding residents of the area, including dissatisfaction of living in the community, unsafe feeling due to rise in crime, frustration with traffic, and disruption of quality of life during peak tourism seasons. Therefore, this study attempts to investigate influences of seasonal attributes on residents’ perceptions of tourism impacts and, in turn, residents’ perceived quality life in a cultural-heritage tourism destination. Salem, Massachusetts, was selected for the study site, due to this city’s rich history and cultural heritages that draw tourists from around the world. For example, Salem attracts more than four times its population during the entire month of October, due to the wide range of tourism resources, such as month-long events (Haunted Happenings) in its correlation with the historical event of the witch trials in 1692. Data analysis supported all six hypotheses. Results confirmed seasonal factor attributes adversely affected residents’ perceptions of economic benefits; seasonal attributes positively affected residents’ perceived social costs; seasonal attributes inversely influenced residents’ perceptions of environment sustainability; perceptions of economic benefits positively impacted residents’ perceived quality of life; perceived social costs adversely affected residents’ perceived quality of life; and perceived environment sustainability positively affected residents’ perceived quality of life. Findings from this study could assist tourism decision-makers and planners when establishing local tourism planning and provide strategies to ensure residents’ quality of life year round. More specified managerial implications are discussed as well as limitations of this study and suggestions for future study.

Keywords

Seasonal factor Perceived economic benefits Environment sustainability Perceived social costs Perceived residents’ quality of life 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Myunghee Mindy Jeon
    • 1
  • Myunghwa (Michelle) Kang
    • 2
  • Edward Desmarais
    • 1
  1. 1.Salem State University, Bertolon School of BusinessSalemUSA
  2. 2.University of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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