An Investigation of Differences in Residents' Perceptions on the Sunshine Coast: Tourism Impacts and Demographic Variables

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This study investigates the differences in residents' perceptions of various tourism development impacts by the location of their residence, gender, age, annual household income level, ethnic background, occupation and the level of education attained. A survey approach was used to collect data from residents of the Sunshine Coast region (n = 732). The study found that more residents living in the coastal area with high tourist activity nearby perceived a higher positive impact of tourism than residents of hinterland areas in the vicinity of high tourist activity. However, the residents of hinterland areas were more likely to perceive social impact positively than the people living in coastal areas. The results also suggest that the residents of suburban areas perceived economic impact positively when compared with the residents of rural or urban areas. Significant differences were also noted for perceptions of tourism impacts according to respondents' level of household income, ethnic background and occupation. However, there is no notable difference in the perceptions of tourism impact in relation to respondents' age, gender and level of education.

Keywords: Sunshine Coast region; demographic variables; location; residents' attitudes

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Australia 2: Faculty of Arts and Social Science, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Australia

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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