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Publication

Residents' attitudes toward tourism development options in rural Oklahoma: The case of Guthrie

Diazceballos, Catalina Nassyra Palacios
Abstract
Residents play a key role in the planning and development of the tourism industry in host communities. The purpose of this study was to examine residents' attitudes toward tourism development options in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Building on the pioneer model of Perdue, Long, and Allen (1990) and using Social Exchange Theory (SET), as a theoretical framework, this study proposed and tested a model. The major research objectives of this study were to: (a) examine residents' attitudes and identify factors that influence support toward specific tourism development options; b) compare the level of support toward additional tourism development of residents and entrepreneurs employed or not employed in the tourism industry; and (c) determine the ratings of acceptability of potential tourism development options in the research area. Participants of this study were residents (18 years or older) of Guthrie. Data were collected using a self-administered online survey, and an identical paper survey from March 2016 through May 2016 from voluntary participants. A series of multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationships among the variables in the study. Analysis of variance was conducted to determine differences in the level of support for additional tourism between residents and entrepreneurs, employed or not employed in the tourism industry. Findings of the study indicated that respondents had favorable attitudes toward tourism in the community. Respondents were generally supportive of additional tourism development in the community, and the perceived positive impacts of tourism outweighed the perceived negative impacts. The higher level of support for additional tourism among respondents came from entrepreneurs in the community. The ratings and ranking of acceptability of potential tourism development options in the research area indicated that the most acceptable potential tourism development options among respondents were: festivals/ fairs/events, parks, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Om the contrary, bars, taverns, or clubs were the least acceptable development options among respondents. Overall, the results indicated that support for tourism development options in Guthrie was significantly influenced by residents' perceived positive impacts of tourism and, residents' support for additional tourism in the community.
Date
2017-05