Tourism, quality of life, and residents of a rural town
- Citation data:
Tourism Analysis, ISSN: 1943-3999, Vol: 21, Issue: 6, Page: 617-629
- Publication Year:
- Business, Management and Accounting; Businesses; QOL; residents; Social exchange theory (SET); tourism; Western Australia; Accounting; Hospitality Administration and Management; Tourism and Travel
Numerous studies have discussed the potential impacts of tourism on residents' quality of life (QOL). Despite this rich body of research, some researchers have identified the need to investigate this dimension using a qualitative approach as well as in rural areas where tourism is under development. Partly in response to these calls, the present study uses the case of a Western Australian town to investigate QOL through the lens of social exchange theory. Through focus groups, face-to-face interviews, and online questionnaires, qualitative data were gathered among the town's residents. Overall, the impacts of tourism on participants' QOL are positive. Four predominant exchanges related to QOL from tourism's effects emerged: economic, bonding, material, and cultural. Although economic exchanges-including job creation and income-are the main triggers of QOL, bonding exchanges-through volunteering and attending events-are also considered as fundamental. This study discusses key implications and suggests future research avenues.