Resident perceptions of the sociocultural impacts of tourism in Llangollen, North-east Wales.

WHALLEY, Peter A. (2000). Resident perceptions of the sociocultural impacts of tourism in Llangollen, North-east Wales. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Taking as its starting point the need to better understand the relationship between tourism and culture in a western European context, this research develops and applies a conceptual framework and methodology to evaluate the attitudes among residents of a tourist receiving community to the sociocultural impacts of tourism. To this end, a case study approach is used to evaluate the attitudes of the residents of Llangollen, a small market town in North-east Wales, to the sociocultural impacts of tourism on their town and way of life. As host to the annual Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, and as a popular destination for day visitors and longer stay tourists alike, the community of Llangollen is a mature tourist destination possessing a wide range of tourist and cultural facilities.The study examines a range of appropriate literature and develops a conceptual framework around three key theories: the notion of resident 'coping strategies' to deal with the impacts of tourism, the sociological principle of social exchange theory and the social-psychological theory of social representations, with the latter being central to the study's methodology. There were three elements to the field work. Firstly, preliminary sensitising interviews were carried out in order to highlight key areas of local concern, and to inform the design of the survey work. Secondly, a questionnaire survey was undertaken of the residents of Llangollen, which was then interpreted using two different methods of respondent segmentation and using an assessment of the difference between groups. Finally, focus group discussions were carried out in the town in order to assist in the interpretation of the questionnaire findings and also to provide a systematically-derived set of qualitative data in order to assess the relative merits of taking different methodological approaches to the research.The findings of the research show that the community of Llangollen is generally positive about the impacts of tourism, with the role of the International Eisteddfod being pivotal in cultural terms. The three different approaches to the analysis of the impacts of tourism in Llangollen provided different perspectives and insights. The multivariate technique of cluster analysis gave the clearest picture from the questionnaire of resident perceptions of the cultural impacts of tourism, whereas an equity-based approach gave more indication of exchange processes at work in the community. The use of focus group discussions proved to be by far the most valuable in terms of drawing out not only what were the attitudes of residents, but also how and why such attitudes had come about in the first place. Most importantly, this research has made much clearer the political, economic and cultural contexts within which the residents of Llangollen perceive the impacts of tourism, and how it is these contexts which are influential in the attitudes taken to the impacts of tourism on the community, on groups in the community, and on the individual members of the community. The research also suggests there is a need for tourism research to move away from its traditional reliance on the questionnaire survey, and the search for statistically significant but perhaps socially irrelevant groups. It is suggested that further use of focus group discussions may help to more fully understand the relationships between tourism and culture within local communities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2000.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:22
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2018 07:50
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20521

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