Postprint of: Moyle, BD, Weiler, B & Croy, G 2013, 'Visitor's perceptions of tourism impacts: Bruny and Magnetic Islands, Australia', Journal of Travel Research, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 392-406.
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Tourism on islands, as elsewhere, can have positive and negative economic, environmental, and sociocultural impacts. Previous research has focused on residents’ perceptions of these impacts with little emphasis on those of the visitor, resulting in a lack of theorizing and empirical investigation into how visitors perceive and evaluate their impacts. Based on the premise that a better understanding of the visitor perspective can underpin the proactive management of some tourism impacts, this study uses Social Exchange Theory to explore visitors’ perceptions of tourism impacts on two Australian islands. Overall, visitors recognized that tourism activity increases impacts and evaluated these as mostly positive for the island communities. While visitors were aware of a range of positive and negative impacts, they judged their own impact to be more positive than that of tourism collectively. The findings point to how research can be used to underpin visitor-focused management and mitigation strategies of island destinations.