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Community involvement and sustainable rural tourism

development: perspectives from the local communities

 

Sook-Fun Fong1* and May-Chiun Lo2

 

Received: 12/12/2014 Accepted: 01/07/2015

 

1Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations (ISITI), University Malaysia Sarawak, 94300
Sarawak, Malaysia; tel: +6011 12027290; e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2Faculty of Economics and Business; University Malaysia Sarawak; 94300 Sarawak; Malaysia; tel: +60 82581154; e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
* Corresponding author

 

Abstract
 

The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between local communities’ involvement and sustainable rural tourism development in the existing tourism industry in Kuching namely, Kampung Annah Rais and Kampung Darul Islam Belimbing. In tourism industry, the way how tourism stakeholders are pleased with mass tourism have been deeply affecting the achievement of sustainable rural tourism development. A questionnaire survey was carried out among the local communities who are currently staying and have been staying in these rural tourism destinations for more than a year. A sample of 113 usable questionnaires was obtained. Four hypotheses were developed regarding the effects of participation in decision making, knowledge sharing, empowerment, and community knowledge about tourism on social, cultural, economic, and environmental sustainability. The findings suggest that local communities’ participation in decision making, empowerment, and community knowledge about tourism do affect the sustainability of rural tourism development. Interestingly, findings indicated that knowledge sharing does not show positive relationship on sustainable rural tourism development. It is believed that poor relationship among the tourism stakeholders influences the effectiveness of knowledge sharing. Suggestions for practical implications and future research are discussed further.

 

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Keywords:  community involvement; decision making; knowledge sharing; empowerment; community sustainable rural tourism development


Citation: Fong, S. F., M. C. Lo (2015) Community involvement and sustainable rural tourism development: perspectives from the local communities. European Journal of Tourism Research 11, pp. 125-146

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European Journal of Тourism Research