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dc.contributor.advisorCarr, Neil
dc.contributor.advisorDuncan, Tara
dc.contributor.authorSroypetch, Supattra
dc.identifier.citationSroypetch, S. (2015). Host And Guest Perceptions Of Backpacker Tourism Impacts On Local Communities: A Case Study Of The Yasawa Group Of Islands, Fiji (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines host and guest perceptions of the economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts of backpacker tourism on local communities. Backpackers frequently hold ‘anti-tourist’ attitudes and conceive themselves as ‘real’ socio-economic contributors to their host destinations. Sometimes though, they are criticized by their hosts for loutish behaviour and harsh haggling. Given such contradictions, this project investigates (1) whether there is a significant difference between the perceptions of hosts and backpackers towards the impacts of backpacking; and (2) whether socio-demographic factor(s) influences hosts’ and backpackers’ perceptions of such impacts. Although there is a growing body of research on backpacker tourism, there is inadequate knowledge regarding the impacts, real or perceived, of backpacker tourism on local communities. The current understanding of backpacker tourism impacts is largely drawn from the views of outsiders, researchers and scholars. The critical view, of hosts and backpackers themselves, is significantly overlooked. There is also a dearth of research that explores perceptions of tourism impacts which emphases the heterogeneity of individuals based on their socio-demographic characteristics. Identifying a knowledge gap, this project contributes to academic knowledge not only through its investigation of host and guest perceptions of backpacker tourism impacts but also by its investigation of why the two parties perceive the impacts in particular ways. Utilising a pragmatic, mixed methods approach, data was gathered between August and November 2011 employing questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and informal conversations. The study site was the Yasawa Islands of Fiji. Selected members of the host community along with visiting international backpackers were engaged for the research. The host participants included indigenous Fijian villagers, tourism business investors, tourism industry employees, central governmental officials and destination policymakers. The resulting thesis found that the backpackers recorded higher self-judged negative environmental impacts on the destination than those identified by their hosts. In contrast, the hosts demonstrated a stronger perception than their guests towards economic and socio-cultural impacts; in both positive and negative indicators. This finding may be unsurprising considering the host’s economy largely depends on backpacker tourism. The thesis revealed that socio-demographic factors significantly influenced the perceptions of both hosts and backpackers towards the impacts of backpacking. In regards to the perceptions of hosts, the findings indicated that the higher educated hosts have a stronger perception towards the economic and environmental impacts than the lower educated hosts. The hosts who live closer to the tourism zone perceive the socio-cultural impacts more unfavourably than those who live farther away. The male hosts perceive the environmental impacts more undesirably than do the females. The younger hosts have a stronger concern about the environmental impacts than do the older ones. Furthermore, the hosts who are employed in the tourism business perceive the environmental impacts to be more severe than those who are not. Additionally, the shorter the length of residence, the more likely hosts are to recognize the negative environmental impacts. Regarding the perceptions of backpackers, the findings reveal that Asian backpackers have a stronger perception of the economic and the environmental impacts of backpacking than those who are from other regions. Furthermore, the experienced backpackers recognise their impacts on the environment more strongly than the less-experienced travellers.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectbackpacker tourism impacts
dc.titleHost And Guest Perceptions Of Backpacker Tourism Impacts On Local Communities: A Case Study Of The Yasawa Group Of Islands, Fiji
dc.language.rfc3066en of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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