Community Empowerment and their Support for Tourism Development: an Inquiry based on Resident Empowerment through Tourism Scale
Ranasinghe, R., Pradeepamali, J. (2019). Community Empowerment and their Support for Tourism Development: an Inquiry based on Resident Empowerment through Tourism Scale. Journal of Tourism and Services, 10(19): 55-76. https://doi.org/10.29036/jots.v10i19.96
Sustaining residents’ support is critical for successful destinations. Though empowerment is decisive in attitude, quantitative researches show a dearth. This study uses resident empowerment through tourism scale to model empowerment’s role in sustaining residents support for tourism in the light of Social Exchange Theory (SET) and Weber’s theory of Formal and Substantive Rationality (WFSR) , aiming at identifying the impacts of residence community empowerment as a pivot in advocating residents’ support for tourism development. Kalpitiya, a fast developing tourist destination in the Island was found a fertile ground to test the proposed model. A random sample of 619 was used to collect primary data through a self-administered questionnaire. Data were analyzed using Structural Equation Model approach in SmartPLS3. Findings show that residents are influenced by personal economic benefits and pride, self-esteem heightened by psychological empowerment. Political empowerment influenced on positive impacts leading to residents’ support for tourism development. The paper argues that SET merely insufficient to explain residents’ behavior towards tourism while WFSR appears as a broader approach. Tourism practitioners need the attention towards non-economic considerations such as values, believes and morals in advocating residents’ support for tourism since economic gains can’t assure it alone.
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