Host-guest interaction on Bruny and Magnetic Islands, Australia
Islands are integral to the earth's biodiversity, with their distinct environments offering a haven for a variety of threatened species of plants, wildlife and unique human cultures. Worldwide, tourism activity profoundly impacts upon destinations, but the impacts on islands are noticeably more acute due to their fragile environments and isolated communities. Research has found that tourism can impact island communities in a variety of ways, including economically, socially and environmentally.
... nd environmentally. Importantly, social interaction is often central to the visitor experience on islands, yet local resentment of tourism development can dilute the tourism experience and inhibit the use of host-guest interaction as a point of market differentiation. Thus this research explores the process and outcomes of host-guest interactions within the context of island tourism. Previous studies on host-guest interaction have assessed the consequences or impacts tourism has on local communities. Social Exchange Theory (SET) has commonly been used as a tool to frame residents' perceptions of the economic, environmental and socio-cultural impacts of tourism. SET consists of four key stages: initiation of exchange; exchange formation; transaction evaluation; and, consequences of exchange. Building on SET as a conceptual framework for host-guest interaction, this research sought to: explore locals' perceptions of host-guest interaction; explore visitors' perceptions of host-guest interaction; and, evaluate visitors' perceptions of the impacts of host-guest interactions on local communities. A mixed methods research design is used to explore host-guest interactions on Bruny and Magnetic Islands, two islands located off the east coast of Australia. This included three sequential phases of data collection: Phase One assessed residents' perceptions of host-guest interactions; Phase Two appraised visitors' perceptions of host-guest interactions; and, Phase Three measured visitors' belief and evaluation of the impact of tourism on the local island [...]