Views on the scale and types of tourism development in the rural periphery: The case of Gozo
There are many published studies about residents’ attitudes to tourism, but few that focus specifically on residents’ views about the scale and types of tourism development in their area (Harrill 2004; Hernandez et al. 1996; Mason and Cheyne 2000). This is a pity as policy-makers would find it useful to understand local people’s preferences for the volume of tourists and amount of development, notably about whether they want the development of large-scale mass tourism or else smaller-scale tourism (Pearce et al. 1996). Views can also be sought on the tourist types to be attracted, and on the tourist infrastructure that they consider acceptable. Such information can assist policy-makers to make better development and marketing decisions and to integrate tourism within overall sustainable development strategies. Residents’ views on these issues seem to be a necessary research focus for development strategies using community-based tourism (Scheyvens 2002; Sofield 2003). More studies of these aspects of residents’ views will also help to provide critical perspectives on how people perceive and experience tourism development, and on how they respond to its implications. Such ‘emic’ concerns can help to establish a more humanistic and critical appreciation of sustainable tourism development (Walle 1997).