Counter-factual scenario planning for long-range sustainable local-level tourism transformation

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McLennan, CJ, Pham, TD, Ruhanen, LM, Ritchie, BW & Moyle, BD 2012, 'Counter-factual scenario planning for long-range sustainable local-level tourism transformation', Journal of Sustainable Tourism, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 801-822.

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Many traditionally agricultural dependent economies have transformed towards service industries, such as tourism. This transformation resulted in significant impacts upon economies, communities and the environment. However, existing indicators to measure the impacts of tourism on regions have not been examined across the transformation process, leaving a gap in the understanding of long-range planning for tourism. Therefore, this paper investigates the relationship between economic, social and environmental indicators across the three main phases of tourism transformation. The three broad phases of tourism transformation can be observed to commence (inception), grow (construction) and then enter a steady state (urbanisation). To investigate this, our research surveyed 303 residents across three local areas at different stages of economic development and tourism dependency, to develop tourism, economic, social and environmental indicators. Employing counter-factual data, generalised ordinal logistic regression models were used to predict and compare the impact of changes in tourism on the economy, society and the environment across the regions. The findings indicate that the relationships between tourism and the triple bottom line differ depending on the stage of development. This research provides insight into local-level long-range planning, which can enable more sustainable tourism transformation, and explores avenues for future research.

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