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The Host Of Community Perception Towards Tourism Development Tourism Essay

Over the past few years, Grand-Baie witnessed an increase in tourism development and the number of international tourists. Though tourism development plays an important role in enhancing economies, tourism development may conflict with the region’s conservative traditions and culture. The purpose of this research is to identify the attitudes and perceptions of residents of Grand Baie towards tourism development based on socio-cultural aspect by: (1) applying Ap & Crompton’s (1998), (2) measuring social or cultural environments, and the residents’ acceptance of visitors, (3) by identifying resident attitudes based upon demographic factor.

Respondents were selected using a random sampling technique to complete a survey instrument. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis, independent t-tests and One way Annova were used to describe data and to better understand resident attitudes. Survey findings reveal that resident attitudes differed according to respondents’ age, length of residence, and ethnicity, particularly with respect to perceptions of change in local services and natural environment.


A project of this magnitude is not an individual endeavor. Consequently, I dedicate this mini dissertation to the many individuals who provided support, encouragement and assistance for its realization. A very special gratitude goes to my team members, Mr. Shaktisham Soobhow and Miss Anousha Keetaruth for their support and input.

I would also like to thank my lecturer, Associate Professor Ramesh Durbarry, Head of School of Sustainable Development and Tourism , for his helpful input and guidance which helped me every step of the way and enabled me to fulfill my assignment requirements

Last but not the least; we are grateful to our parents and friends for their support and understanding and also the team working at the Resource Centre of University of Technology for extending their help.

Table of content

List of tables

Table 3.1: Types of Data……………………………………………………………… 16

Table 4.1 Respondent Profile

Table: 4.2 “Host Community Perception based on a Socio-Cultural Aspect”

Table 4.3: “One Way Anova”

Table: 4.4 “One Way Anova”

Table 4.5 ‘Host Community Perception Towards a Positive Socio-Cultural impact’


1.0 Tourism in Mauritius

Mauritius has become a well known tourism destination the world over with arrivals rising from 103,000 in 1977 to 915,000 in 2010 for the first trimester. Since the mid 1990s Mauritius more precisely the northern part of the island has experienced a remarkable growth in tourist numbers with international arrivals doubling. It is estimated that this trend is having a significant impact upon host communities in Grand-Baie. Given the fact that tourism development can flourish in an area only with the support of the host community, it is thought that the perception of the host community toward tourism development and impacts serve as crucially important inputs in identifying the strategic and managerial priorities of the tourism sector.

The host community remains one of the most important tools for the promotion and continuous development of the tourism industry in Mauritius. Tourists have direct and constant contacts with the host community and it is the attitude of the host that will determine whether tourism development can be implemented or whether it is successful. Without the host community participation, any tourism development that will be implemented will not be a flourishing one.

1.1 Problem Statement

It is very important to explore host community perception towards tourism because tourists have direct and constant contact with host community. Besides, the measurement of the host community’s perceptions of tourism development plays a vital role in the future success of a destination (Sheldon and Abenoja, 2001).

The benefits received from tourism development may not always be plausible if the negative impacts, such as crime and traffic congestion, outweigh the economic benefits (Chen, 2000). hosts’ perceptions toward tourism development are critical to sustain the growth of community tourism businesses. If the level of hosts’ loyalty to tourism development is high, the potential conflicts between hosts and tourism establishments should be avoided.

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Host perception towards tourism development in Grand-Baie Mauritius is a very crucial because the tourism industry there is growing at a rapid pace with the development in that region. Since hosts are there to stay, as such their perception are fundamental to the smooth pace of tourism development.

1.2 Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to analyse host community perceptions on the tourism development based on socio-cultural in the region of Grand-Baie in Mauritius. Therefore, the objectives of the study are to

analyse the different components of host community perceptions towards tourism development based on Socio-cultural aspects;

Evaluate the socio-cultural impacts of tourism development on host community

Measure the demographic perception of the Host Community on the tourism development.

2.0 Literature review

2.0 Introduction

Tourism is a product that relies totally upon simultaneous production and consumption. The implication of this for the destination’s host community is that it will come into contact with an alien population during the production process. This contact can be beneficial or detrimental to the host community depending upon the difference in cultures and the nature of the contact.

Tourism can develop and grow when host community has a positive attitude toward it and when they see their role in the process of the tourism development. At the point when a tourism destination is born, the quality if the life of the local hosts goes through radical changes, which are not necessarily negative. Literature suggests that tourism development has created both positive and negative impacts on host communities. The most complex problems that accompany tourism development, reside in the relationship between local host and tourist. Furthermore, there are limits of tourism growth that are closely associated with the place capacity and with the quality of life in the local community.

The most complex problems that accompany tourism development, reside in the relationship between tourists and local host and also the impacts on their society and culutre.

2.1 Tourism Development

Tourism development is an expression that encompasses not only destinations, origins, motivations and impacts, but also the complex linkage that exist between all the people and institutions of that interconnecting, global supply and demand system ( Pearce, 1989).

In general, tourism development within a host community often impacts the community both in negative and positive ways. Resident’s attitudes will be positive if they can use tourism resources such as recreational facilities or if they perceive that tourism development will protect or preserve the environment ( Lankford et al, 2003). Conversely attitudes towards tourism were found to be negative if residents perceived the impacts as negative, or if the resources within a host community diminish as a result of tourist activity ( Lankford et al.,2003; Perdue et al., 1990). The host community perception toward tourism will be affected due to impacts.

2.3 Host community

According to Sherlock (1999), it is difficult to define the term “community” precisely; nevertheless, the word can be used to refer to a group of people who exist in one particular location. Aramberri (2001) suggests that “host societies are in fact communities, made of one piece”. For Williams and Lawson (2001) community is defined as “a group of people who share common goals or opinions”. “Host Community” is particular is defined by Mathieson and Wall (1982) as the “Inhabitants of the destination area”. Similarly, Swarbrooke (1999) defines it as “all those who live within a tourist destination”.. In the light of the previous definition, it can be concluded that a host community consists of all those people in the destination, whether they are homogeneous or heterogeneous and regardless of whether the impacts of tourism are beneficial or otherwise.. However, the host is community is often the last to be notified of tourism development (Thyne and Lawson,2001) and quite often they are not given a chance or encouraged to give their opinioin on tourism issues.

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2.4 Relationship Between Host Community and Guest

A good relationship between local hosts and tourist is essential for the long term development of tourism destination. ( Ap and Crompton, 1998). The relationship between host community and tourists is mainly affected by the socio-cultural impacts that are caused due to tourism development (Smith, 1995). Smith (1989) conclude that contacts between tourist and host community if different cultural background take the form of direct face to face encounters between tourists and host of different cultural groups. The interaction between hosts and international guests raises another issue linked to cultural tolerance. As argued by Bochner (1982), the mutual understanding between cultures can create an opportunity for acquaintance leading towards enhanced understanding and tolerance and, consequently, reduce prejudice, conflict and tension between hosts and tourists. This type of contact is experienced by tourists when they travel from home culture to a host culture by hosts when they serve tourists from a foreign culture. That is, both tourist and the host community participate in exploring each other’s culture.

2.4.1 Doxey’s Irridex Model

In 1975, Doxey devised a theoretical model in which it states that an increase in numbers of tourists and a more developed tourism industry at the destination results in irritation in the host community. In this case the perception of host community vary from ‘euphoria’ ( a feeling of happiness or comfort) to ‘apathy’ when locals start losing interest in tourism; to ‘annoyance’ after the number of tourists and the unfavorable impacts have increased ; and finally ‘antagonism’ ( a generation of hostile reactions against tourism) (Cordero 2008).

Although Doxey’s model is a useful approach towards identifying the four stages of tourism evolution at a destination, it has been criticized for its limitation by Wall and Mathieson (2006) because it is a unidirectional model intended to represent the entire nature of the host community.

2.5 Host community perception towards tourism development

Research has been conducted for the convenience of tourists, while local community perceptions and attitudes towards the industry have been given less of a priority (Murphy 1985). Butler (1980) claimed that there is a correlation between the development of tourism and the attitude of the domestic people towards the tourists. Positive attitude is gradually replaced by the negative attitude as the time passes.

Studying host community attitudes and the antecedents of resident reaction can help both residents and planners (Williams and Lawson 2001).Williams and Lawson argued that it was possible to select those developments that can minimize negative impacts and maximize support for the industry. By doing so, on one hand the quality of life of residents can be maintained or enhanced; and, on the other hand, the negative impacts of tourism in the community will be reduced.

2.6 Tourism Impacts

Researchers in the early years of the twenty first century list an impressive range of both positive and negative impacts on the host community as a result of tourism development (Fredline and Faulkner, 2000; Upchurch and Teivane, 2000; Gursoy et al., 2002; Besculides et al., 2002). The study of impacts from tourism on local communities takes in a range of literature that includes both the positive and negative effects of hosting tourists to a community. However, researchers agree that a necessary condition of successful tourism development strategy is the inclusion of residents of the entire community if tourism investment is to yield substantial returns (Allen et al., 1988, 1993; Jurowski & Uysal, 1997; Long et al ., 1990; Snepenger & Johnson, 1991).

2.6.1 Socio-cultural Impacts

Tourism is a socio-cultural event for both the guest and host (Murphy, 1985) and the contact between host and tourists can be beneficial or detrimental to the host community depending upon the difference in cultures and the nature of the contact .Tourism development also affects the social, cultural and environmental aspects within a destination. Socio-cultural impacts are concerned with the “ways in which tourism is contributing to changes in value systems, individual behaviour, family relationships, collective lifestyles, moral conduct, creative expressions, traditional ceremonies and community organization” (Pizam & Milman, 1984, cited in Haralambopoulos & Pizam, 1996, p.503).

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Tourism development increases and promotes cultural exchange between tourists and residents. Tourism can also be a force to preserve and revitalize the cultural identity and traditional practices of host communities and act as a source of income to protect heritage sites (Easterling, 2004).

However, the cultural changes caused by tourism “threatens to destroy traditional cultures and societies” (Brunt & Courtney 199, p 495) and to others it represented “an opportunity for peace, understanding and greater knowledge” (Brunt & Courtney 1999, p.495).

2.7 Factors Influencing Host community perception towards tourism development

To understand the antecedents of host communities’ perception towards tourism development, extensive literature has attempted to examine the influences of socio-demographics on attitudes, such gender ( Ritchie 1988; Weaver & Lawton 2001), age (Brougham & Butler 1981; Fredline & Faulkner 2000; Madrigal 1995; weaver & Lawton 2001), length of residency ( Allen et al 1988), Education ( Weaver & Lawton 2001). Those tested variables are classified as the intrinsic dimension which includes residents’ demographic attributes.

2.7.1 Demographic Factors

The use of socioeconomic factors (Harill, 2004) like income, ethnicity and length of residency to explain host community perception has been widely used. These variables are included simply as standard point of survey instrument.

2.7.2 Gender

Regarding gender, it was found that woman were more opposed to tourism development than men due to perceived negative impacts, such as increase in traffic, noise and crime although acknowledging positive benefits, including community facilities and regional economic benefits. In a study in California, (Harrill and Potts, 2003) also found gender to be a significant predictor of tourism’s perceived economic benefits, with more women than men negatively disposed toward tourism development.

2.7.3 Education

It was found that more educated people having more positive views of tourism (Weaver, 2001). Hosts who have a tourism education background were more in favor of tourism because of the economic and social improvements. In the context of Samos, Greece Haralambopoulos and Pizam (1996) indicated that well-educated people were more correlated with positive tourism attitudes.

2.7.4 Age

Age has also been explored as a factor in host community perception toward tourism development and received more attention as the baby boomers retire and seek tourist destination in which to work and have vacation. Older hosts are generally as favourably inclined toward tourism development as young resident (Tomljenovic and Faulkner, 1999). In addition, older hosts are more tolerant of international tourists and less concerned about tourism’s adverse environmental impacts. However, a study of Kusadasi, Turkey revealed that older hosts had more negative perceptions than youngsters.

2.7.5 Length of Residency

Length of residency (Girard and Gartner, 1993) found that for those host who has a second home in the tourism development community appreciate the availability of goods and services from increased tourism, but long term host community who stay permanently in the community do not want to see any increased in tourism development. Thus, long term host had a less favorable perception of tourism than did short term hosts.

2.8 Summary

This chapter provided reviews of literature relevant to the present study. The review provided the basis of the entire research design. Furthermore, the review results would be brought into the Discussion chapter to compare the findings of the present study with the existing literature.

3. Methodology

3.0 Introduction

This chapter provides the methodology of the survey envisaged on host community perception towards tourism development based on socio-cultural aspect. In this vein, it represents the crux of the study. It offers a framework about how the research was carried out and elaborates on the questionnaire design and enumerates several limitations pertaining to the survey.

3.1 Research Design

For this research both primary and secondary data were used.

Table 3.1: Types of Data

Primary Research

Secondary Research



Academic Journals

The research method used to collect and analyse the primary data was based upon a quantitative approach. This is so because it made it possible for the respondent that is the host community to express their feeling and perception towards tourism development. For this purpose, a questionnaire was designed and distributed to the targeted population.

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3.2 Sampling Frame

This study was conducted in the Northern region of Mauritius that is in Grand-Baie which is one of the major tourist destinations. As such, the targeted population for this study comprised of hosts community of Grand-Baie. This is so because tourism development in Grand-Baie has reached the maturity stage (Butler Destination Life Cycle). There is a high concentration of tourism development in this northern village compare to the other region. 60 questionnaires were used for the survey.

3.3 Questionnaire Design

The questionnaire was prepared following a review of existing literature dealing with hosts’ perception toward tourism development based on socio-cultural aspect. For this particular study, the scales from Ap and Crompton (1998) as well as Lankford and Howard (1994) were adopted and modified. An interviewee completed questionnaire was designed and it consists of 38 questions. The questionnaire was categorized into section A, B and C, where A and B were measured using likert Scale and C the respondent profile background. (Refer to Appendix A)

3.4 Hypothesis Testing

The following hypotheses were tested:

H1: Tourism Development has an impact on Socio-Cultural aspect

H2: Residents Perception towards cooperation between local people and tourism development differs across gender and level of education.

H3: the level of hostility towards tourists differs across length of residency and occupation.

3.5 Pilot Survey

To judge the validity of the questionnaire a pilot survey of 10 questionnaires were undertaken with host community to check whether there is a proper and broad flow of questioning. The number of questions were reduced and also the rephrasing of sentence.

3.6 Data Collection

An informal interview was chosen as a method of data collection with the host community. Questionnaires were distributed door to door using a random sampling procedure. Interviews were conducted during the day so as to obtain a more representative sample within households. during the week day. The overall data collection lasted for 1 day, with a total of 53 questionnaires completed, which result in 88.33% response rate.

3.7 Data Analysis

A number of statistical procedures were carried out for this study using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. The socio-demographic factors like education, occupation, level of education and gender were used as independent variables and the 32 Likert scale statements as the dependent variables. One-way ANOVA and descriptive analysis were used.

3.8 Limitation of Study

Normally, no survey can experience a perfect evolution. Similarly, the present one had to undergo certain constraints and was subject to various limitations as exhibited below.

Host people were busy working.

They didn’t want to expressed themselves as they felt embarrassed

3.9 Conclusion

This chapter provides a thorough explanation of how data was collected, processed and analysed for the methods of data collection. It gives further details on the purpose of the research and describes how the questionnaire was designed. Lastly, the sampling frame as well as the limitations of the research was discussed.

4. Results and Findings

4.0 Introduction

This chapter discusses the findings of the questionnaire survey. It not only deals with the individual analysis of each question, but also compares one question in relation to others and tries to establish a link between the results found.

4.1 Profile of the Respondents

Demographic information about the respondents is provided in Table 4.1. Males account for a larger share of the respondents, which is 50%, following 38% for female. More respondents were married, with a percentage of 53.33, and 28.33% were single. The majority, 35.33% were employed or working in the tourism sector, 23.33%. Most of the respondents of Grand-Baie work in hotels nearby their house but also many of them worked for themselves.

More than one half of the respondents, 65.33%, lived in Grand-Baie for more than 15 years. Around 52.33% reported that they have studied till School Certificate .

Table 4.1 Respondent Profile










Marital Status























Own Business



Tourism Sector










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Length of Residency

Less than 5 years









More than 15 years



Total questionnaire



4.2 Host community perception based on a Socio-Cultural Aspect

Table 4.2 illustrates the overall results of the descriptive analysis of section A and B of the questionnaire, which in turn show that there is a significant variation (according to the Mean and SD values) between the perceptions of the respondents towards socio-cultural aspect according to the degree of exposure. The domestic people show a very positive attitude towards the increasing number of tourists in the region at the beginning because they have high expectations from the tourist in long term basis. Furthermore, from the table itself, the mean is ranged from 4.81 to 2.57. Demonstrating that the host community highly accepts the presence of tourists in their area although the level of tourist has increased for the recent years.

The results clearly shows that the presence of tourist in Grand-Baie help for the conservation of prestigious monument and also the awareness of the culture. The host community of Grand-Baie stated that their tradition are not being affected at all, as shown in the statement 5. The analysis shows that the tourism development does not make enough effort for the tourist to be aware of the host community culture. Moreover, another reason why the host community perception is low is that the tourism development is much more profit making.

Table: 4.2 “Host Community Perception based on a Socio-Cultural Aspect”




Std. Deviation


Residents accept the presence of tourists





There is awareness and recognition of the culture and heritage





Historical buildings are restored and protected





There is cooperation between local people and tourism development





Traditions of the local is affected





Local people changes their way of living





There is a variety of entertainment in the community





Tourism increases the level of education in Grand-Baie





Tourism encourages some immoral behavior of some people of the locality





Earnings from tourism lure children in your community to leave school at an early age





Tourism is the reason of some younger`s misbehavior





Tourist make the effort to understand your culture and society





Tourism development give the opportunity to put your culture on display





Do you welcome the fact that tourist comes in your region





Is tourism only a way of profit making or much more





Due to the number increasing number of tourist arrival in your region can you still support the impacts





Do you feel that there is a feeling of hostility towards tourist due to those impacts by the local community actually




4.3 There is cooperation between local people and tourism development

Table 4.3 shows the p-value as well as the F value obtained through an ANOVA analysis for both the Gender and Education Level. This analysis shows that there is a difference in the level of perception that varies according to the gender since the p-value is less than 0.05 (= 0.017) which confirms the statement that there is a difference in the level of perception between male and female. In order, to determine where the difference lays a Tukey Test was carried out (Refer to Appendix B).

According to the Post Hoc Test Table (Appendix B), where men disagree with the fact that there is cooperation between local people and tourism development, we found that women strongly agree with the perception that there is cooperation between local people and tourism development which is contrary to what Harill and Potts, (2003) study found. This is so because the p=value is less than 0.05 (= 0.045). The reasons for the level of perception between male and female may vary for different reasons.

First of all, Female may view tourism development in a more positively way as with tourism development many women may find it beneficial for them because they are able to find a job easily or benefit indirectly with small businesses such as craft.

However, the perception do not differs across Education since the p-value is greater than 0.05 (= 0.741). This can conclude that irrespective of the level of education the level of perception is the same. According to the study of Weaver (2001) which states that the educated people mainly those who have a tourism education background are in favor of tourism development.

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However, the study made in Grand-Baie demonstrates that the level of education of host community do not has an impact on the level of perception. The reason for this may be because whether a host community is educated or not he or she may find employment due to the tourism development taking place in his locality.

Table 4.3 : “One Way Anova”

Factor Item

Demographic Variable



There is cooperation between local people and tourism development







4.4 There is a feeling of hostility towards tourist due to those impacts

Table 4.4 shows the p-value as well as the F value obtained through an ANOVA analysis for both the Length of Residency and Occupation. This shows that there is a difference in the level of perception that varies according to the length of residency of the host in Grand-Baie since the p-value is less than 0.05 (= 0.031). In other words which mean that there is a difference in the level of perception of those living in the region of Grand- Baie. In order to determine where the difference lies a Tukey Test was carried out (Refer to Appendix B).

Referring to the Post Hoc Test Table (Appendix B), where those living in Grand-Baie whether living over there for a long time or short time, it has been found that they do not express a feeling of hostility vis-à-vis the tourist due to the impacts that tourism industry in the region brings in. This is so because the p=value is less than 0.05 (= 0.016).

However, the perception do not differs across Occupation since the p-value is greater than 0.05 (= 0.952). This can conclude that irrespective of the work being done by the host community, the level of perception is the same.

In other words, this demonstrates that the level of Occupation do not has an impact upon the perception of host community. Reason why it is so is because whether they are employed or unemployed or working in the tourism sector, the host find tourism as beneficial for them directly or indirectly.

Table: 4.4 “One Way Anova”

Factor Item

Demographic Variable



There is a feeling of hostility towards tourist due to those impacts

Length of Residency






4.5 Host Community Perception towards a Positive Socio-Cultural Impact

Table 4.5 illustrates the different perception of the host community towards the different aspect. The host community of Grand-Baie has a relatively high positive perception towards the presence of tourist in the region as it benefit from different point of view. This is so because the tourist make an effort to learn the culture of the host community and a

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