Tourism and Quality-of-Life: How Does Tourism Measure Up?

  • Janne J. Liburd
  • Pierre Benckendorff
  • Jack Carlsen
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


This chapter reviews and analyzes the contribution that tourism development makes to quality-of-life (QOL). The chapter commences with a review of the sociocultural, economic, and environmental effects of tourism development as it relates to QOL. It will be argued that tourism studies have generally relied on observations and measurement by researchers, who have explored residents’ perceived impacts of tourism on their community. In contrast to community-centric impact studies, this chapter is concerned with how economic, social, and environmental impacts of tourism are manifested and how tourism is contributing to QOL and overall life satisfaction. An importance-performance analysis (IPA) is used to achieve this goal. The opinions of experts in tourism development are used as a basis for identifying the importance of 45 attributes of QOL and for assessing how well tourism performs on each. The literature review, analysis, and findings indicate that tourism has the potential to contribute to enhanced QOL through economic benefits, but this can be at the expense of social equity, cultural identity, and environmental sustainability. There is also considerable room for improvement in tourism’s performance with respect to contributing to local communities and provision of leadership and corporate social responsibility as they relate to the key attributes of QOL in tourism destinations. Research propositions emerging from the findings could inform the future direction of inquiry into the complex relationships and interdependencies between tourism, QOL, and the well-being of both tourists and the communities they visit.


Corporate Social Responsibility Tourism Industry Tourism Development Computable General Equilibrium Host Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janne J. Liburd
    • 1
  • Pierre Benckendorff
    • 2
  • Jack Carlsen
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Tourism, Innovation and Culture, Department of History and CivilizationUniversity of Southern DenmarkEsbjergDenmark
  2. 2.School of TourismThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Curtin Sustainable Tourism CentreCurtin University of TechnologyPerthAustralia

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