SOCIAL IMPACT OF TOURISM IN INDIA

B Manivannan
2015 International Journal of Innovative Research in Technology   unpublished
There exists a growing literature on economic and environmental impacts in developing countries, yet in the area of the effects of tourism on society and culture the literature is still limited. Furthermore, the little research that has been undertaken focusing on developing countries assumes a Western perspective. Therefore the purpose of this study was to examine the socio-cultural impacts of tourism in a destination context and from a host perspective. Studies conducted by Milman and Pizam
more » ... Milman and Pizam (2000), King, Pizam and Milman (2010) and Dowling (2010, in Tosun; 2011) showed that even with high levels of development the hosts perception of the socio cultural changes was positive. Importantly, King, Pizam and Milman (2010) identified within their case study that, residents dependent upon tourism identified and recognised both the negative and positive impacts associated with tourism, yet the negative impacts recognised did not lead to a loss of support for the industry. Faulkner and Tideswell (2015) observe that a number of studies have shown that where residents are dependent upon tourism for their livelihood, there is a tendency to either emphasis positive impacts or accept negative impacts on the community more readily. The research investigated the local community of Kovalam beach in Kerala and their perceptions of the socio-cultural impacts of tourism, the objectives being to investigate the views of local people and key stakeholders and critically analyse the findings in relation to the cultural view points of the local people. The study touches on areas of employment, gender and development issues, host / guest relationships, tourism as a form of progression, moral issues and economic factors. A total of 34 interviews took place with local people and key stakeholders, most of whom were dependent upon tourism. The interviews revealed that residents both supported the current magnitude of tourism and favoured its expansion. Despite this clear and generally positive view, the respondents were able to identify four categories of impacts which affected the community: positive, neither positive nor negative, negative but acceptable and negative. The results suggest that residents who were dependent upon tourism could differentiate between economic benefits and social costs, which were often interactional, and that awareness of negative consequences does not lead to opposition towards further tourism development. In fact, it was recognized that most of the negative impacts were accentuated by tourism as oppose to being solely attributable to it. More importantly, local residents demonstrated feelings of pride and happiness with regard to both tourism and tourists, pointing out that their cultural interaction and exchange has improved their knowledge, capability and capacity. Often it is the case that many of the socio-cultural impacts associated with tourism are considered to be negative, however this study presents a contrasting view from a host community directly involved with tourists.
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