Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Host communities survey results and analysis

The host communities surveys of c. 50 members in each area examined the interface between tourism and local hosts, including: communities perceptions of links between tourism and place; their requirements, expectations and experiences of interaction with tourists; their motivation and behaviour; communication, decision-making and control-retention aspects of tourist-community linkages; their attitudes on commodification and valorisation of localities; their perceptions of tourism�s impacts, benefits and sustainability; methods for resolving tensions associated with tourism; effectiveness of rural, regional and tourism policy.

The survey used questionnaire-based interviews, combining structured and semi-structured elements relating to specific local communities and allowing qualitative assessment of underlying processes as well as quantitative identification of trends and relationships. The three main themes were: control, i.e. the level of control that a community has over tourism resources; co-operation, i.e. the level of co-operation between host communities and tourists, host communities and agencies (external cooperation), and within host communities (internal co-operation) in the context of tourism; conflict , i.e.conflict between host communities and tourists, host communities and agencies (external conflict), and within host communities (internal conflict) in the context of tourism.

The country reports provide wide-ranging information on communities and community actors; analyse their perceptions of links between tourism and place, their requirements, expectations and experiences of interaction with tourists, and their choices, motivation and behaviour; assess the communication, decision-making and control-retention aspects of tourist-community linkages, and attitudes towards commodification and valorisation of localities and social entrepreneurship; assess the impacts, benefits and sustainability of tourism, and community methods for resolving tensions; determine views on the effectiveness of integrated tourism; and assess effectiveness of rural, regional and tourism policy.

UK: Host communities in both sub-regions are keen on tourism promotion based on place-specific resources natural, social and cultural - by using and adding value to them to retain maximum benefits within the locality. The most integrated aspects of local tourism are those which are embedded in place.

ES: There are clear differences between the two study areas: in the Aitana Valleys, it is necessary to improve promotion and develop new tourism resources and activities; in Alta Ribagorça, tourism has already increased in a relatively unmanaged way and the only problem relating to sustainability is the possibility of mass tourism in some months of the year. Most respondents believed that tourism is very well integrated in local economic and social structures. Older residents in particular did not want their heritage to be lost for future generations.

IE: Positive attitudes towards tourists, and appreciation of the importance of tourism in the local economy and an interest in the development of IT were evident, pointing to its embeddedness locally. In general, there was scope for further development of IT, but there was opposition to types of development that would involve excessive noise, alcohol abuse and amusement arcades. Concerns were expressed in relation to large-scale housing developments associated with tax incentive schemes, problems of access to land and water for walking and angling, and farming practices that were linked to water pollution.

GR: Community networks in the two study sub-regions are quite different, but low levels of interaction between the community and tourism management were reported. In general, respondents considered that the current level of tourism is adequate or even too high for the existing infrastructure. The highest levels of tourism in both areas are concentrated in the ski resorts and the need for better regulation of tourism to avoid future environmental damage was recognised. Local resources are controlled and managed by local authorities and institutions and the level of local empowerment is quite low.

FR: Almost all the interviewees had a positive regard for tourists, though sometimes this was conditional on tourism remaining diffuse. Tourism had benefited the population, mostly through commerce and services, and contributes to the preservation of local traditions.

CZ: Both regions showed the strong historical influence of the former boundary with the West and the inner boundary created after the transfer of former German inhabitants from Sudetenland. Thus, the social roots of the host community played an important role. Economic differences between those involved in tourism and those who were not were not apparent during the research period, although this may develop in the future, dividing people into the rich and the poor.


Eva CUDLINOVA, (Lecturer in Ecological Economics)
Tel.: +420-3-87775679
Fax: +420-3-85300249