Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 1405–1418

Community attitudes toward ecotourism development and environmental conservation in nature reserve: a case of Fujian Wuyishan National Nature Reserve, China



Using social exchange theory, this study investigated residents’ attitudes toward the preliminary stage of tourism development in nature reserves in Wuyishan National Nature Reserve of China, and the socio-economic and negative effects of residents’ attitude toward the tourist industry. Results of the questionnaire survey indicated that local people perceived they could benefit from the economic activities related to tourism, and were supportive of the conservation of natural resources and local culture, sustainable community development, and community participation in ecotourism planning and management. This study also revealed that the variables of age, gender, education level, household income, family size, non-farm work arrangements, and the distance to tourism attractions, have significant association with respondents’ attitudes toward ecotourism development, or negative impacts of the tourist industry. Respondents who are male, or have a higher household income, are more supportive of tourism development inside the reserve. Younger and more highly educated community members are more likely to support learning more about natural and cultural resources and landscapes. Respondents who have a higher household income, or live far from the village center, are more concerned about the negative environmental impacts of tourism development.


Economic benefits Environmental conservation Nature reserve Residents’ attitude Tourism development Wuyishan National Nature Reserve 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of the RyukyusOkinawa PrefectureJapan
  2. 2.School of EconomicsFujian Normal UniversityFuzhouChina
  3. 3.Kanazawa UniversityKanazawa City, Ishikawa PrefectureJapan

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