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Chapter 12 Place attachment and residents’ perceptions of tourism development in small town destinations

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635765-4853

ISBN: 9781911635765

Published: April 2021

Component type: chapter

Published in: Sustainable and Collaborative Tourism in a Digital World

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635765-4477



Towns and cities have always been places where tourism and leisure experiences are constantly produced and consumed and a source of special fascination for visitors and tourists (Hall & Page, 2014). The development of tourism generates different degrees of impact on destination places, environments, and on the local population. Understanding resident perception of those impacts is crucial to the successful and sustainable development of tourism (Šegota, Mihalič & Kuščer, 2017). Residents are the most important destination stakeholders and, because of that, they should participate in the planning of sustainable tourism development in order to control the impacts of tourism on the places where they live (Lawton & Weaver, 2015; Garrod, Fyall, Leask & Reid, 2012). As a consequence, it is important to establish awareness of host communities’ experiences, perceptions, and attitudes towards sustainable tourism development, particularly in locations with a small population base (Thompson-Fawcett & McGregor, 2011). Once a community becomes a tourist destination, the lives of its residents become affected. Even though most of the studies conducted on tourism impacts focused on economic, social, and environmental wellbeing, the central question is still the need to understand how community residents perceive the impacts of tourism (Kim, Uysal, & Sirgy, 2013). Another crucial concept regarding sustainable tourism development is place attachment, commonly defined as the emotional bond between an individual and a specific place (Manzo, 2003). However, affection, emotions, and feelings are not the only concepts of place attachment. Cognition and practice are important as well (Low & Altman, 1992; Vorkinn & Riese, 2001). People may feel attached to a place because of emotional and social ties, but also because of the physical aspects of the place (Hidalgo & Hernández, 2001; Lewicka, 2011). Places are above all social constructions and include physical, social, and psychological connotations that help build attachment (Knez, 2014).

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Silva, Seabra, Abrantes, Reis & Pereira, 2021

Silva, C., Seabra, C., Abrantes, J.L., Reis, M. & Pereira, A. (2021) "Chapter 12 Place attachment and residents’ perceptions of tourism development in small town destinations" In: Decrop, A., Correia, A., Fyall, A. & Kozak, M. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635765-4853


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