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Tourist and resident perceptions of the environment-tourism relationship in the Gascoyne region, Western Australia

Dowling, R.K. (1993) Tourist and resident perceptions of the environment-tourism relationship in the Gascoyne region, Western Australia. GeoJournal, 29 (3). pp. 243-251.

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This paper reports on resident and tourist opinions of the interrelationship between the environment and tourism in the Gascoyne region, Western Australia. It is a simple, descriptive-level case study whose value lies in its addition to the relatively scant knowledge base. Data was obtained using questionnaires administered by four face-to-face surveys of a random sample of over 1200 residents and tourists during 1990 and 1991. Analysis of the survey data reveals that both groups view tourism as environmentally harmful but consider it to be more environmentally compatible than the other commercial activities of the area, namely pastoralism, fishing and mining. There is considerable support for tourism developments provided they do not conflict with the environment, are concentrated in already developed areas, and are subject to public participation in the decision making process. A number of environmentally harmful recreational and tourism activities are identified and preferred ecotourism activities suggested. The paper concludes that the Western Australia study has confirmed many of the earlier findings in regard to resident views and indicates a close level of agreement between the attitudes of both residents and tourists. It advocates the need for further research especially of a conceptual and theoretical orientation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright: © 1993 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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