"The Visitors are Visitors and They're Not Only Visiting the Country They're Visiting You". A Detailed Study on Residents' Support of Incoming Tourists and the Affect Thereof.

Helga Margret Beck & Stefania Erla Oskarsdottir

Student thesis: Master thesis


The recent development in tourism has highlighted the negative impacts of overtourism on local residents. In many destinations, the residents have become discontent with tourists taking over their home areas, indicating that residents want to preserve their way of living, and thereby affecting their support for tourism development. Up until now, the residents’ attitudes have been studied under economic pretenses, thereby overlooking their psychological wellbeing. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the neglected relationship between residents and tourists in an overtourism setting and develop a conceptual model intended to measure residents’ support of incoming tourists. The topic is researched under the premises of social identity theory, thus the interplay between residents’ support and the national identity of the residents is the focus in this thesis. Additional impacts, that could mediate the relationship between residents’ national identity and their support of incoming tourists are included as constructs of the model, such as: residents’ attachment to their community, quality of life, perceived political empowerment, threat to their national identity, tourists respect for residents’ surrounding and the tension between residents and tourists. The conceptual model was developed from existing literature and then tested through quantitative research methods. Scales were developed and adapted from existing literature to measure the constructs in the model. The results were analyzed by using partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) that revealed the relationship between the constructs. The findings show that national identity of residents does affect their support of incoming tourists, both directly and through mediating effects of attachment and threat to residents’ identity. Furthermore, tourists respect for residents’ surroundings had a significant effect on their support. The implications of the findings are that destination planners need to attend to residents through communication by fostering their sense of price and their psychological wellbeing. This thesis is an important contribution to an understudied area of the tourism studies.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages106
SupervisorsFlorian Kock