David McArthur Baker, Marcia Taylor, Lan Jiang


The attitudes and perceptions of local communities or residents are of special interest when examining and managing the economic, socio-cultural and environmental aspects of tourism development in a given area. This is of particular importance to Small Island nations like those located in the Caribbean. In this paper, we analyzed the perceptions and attitudes of residents in an emerging tourist destination: the nation of St. Kitts & Nevis. A survey of residents produced 360 useable questionnaires and the data was analyzed using the independent t-test and ANOVA. St. Kitts & Nevis had relatively few international tourists until both air and seaports were renovated to accommodate jet aircrafts and large cruise ships along with two additional large hotels. The island nation is currently experiencing a tourism boom that is altering the way of life of local residents. The current research paper provides a better understanding of local residents’ attitudes toward the impacts of tourism development. The results reveal that, in general terms, the local community perceives that tourism brings economic opportunities and has other positive impacts such as increased investments in infrastructures and higher quality hospitality and retail establishments.


island destinations, residents’ attitude, tourism development, local communities, perceived impacts


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