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Socio-Cultural Impacts of Tourism: An Example from the Austrian Alps

Herbert G. Kariel and Patricia E. Kariel
Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography
Vol. 64, No. 1 (1982), pp. 1-16
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
DOI: 10.2307/490903
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/490903
Page Count: 16
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Socio-Cultural Impacts of Tourism: An Example from the Austrian Alps
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Abstract

Tourists leave their impacts on the socio-cultural life of host communities. The few studies which focus on the consequences of the impacts in mountain regions are restricted to individual areas, rather than presenting a generalized description or analysis. To help fill this gap, this paper presents three schematic models which can provide a conceptual framework encompassing three interrelated effects of tourism: its spatial influences; economic, infrastructural, and landscape changes; and changes in the way of life of the local population. Interviews conducted in four communities in the Austrian Alps, focussing on changes in these communities and residents perceptions and evaluations of them, and supplemented by published data from various sources, are used to illustrate and check the correctness of these models. Kesidents' evaluations of tourism were overwhelmingly positive: money was cited as the outcome most liked. Least liked were effects on family life, with less time spent by parents with each other and their children, as well as impacts on relationships within the community and a substitution of competition for the former cooperative spirit. Residents emphasized the desirability of maintaining local control and financing in order to maximize benefits for the community. In general, although there was some expression of a desire for the community not to grow too large, there was relatively little understanding of specific ways in which the growth of tourism could be controlled to accomplish this goal.

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