An Exploratory Study of the Impacts of Tourism on Resident Outdoor Recreation Experiences


  • Samuel Lankford
  • Robert E. Pfister
  • Jill Knowles
  • Al Williams


sustainable tourism, impacts, recreation experiences, crowding, community preferences


Increased tourism development will most certainly impact leisure experiences for local resident populations. Sustainable tourism suggests a need to balance economics, environment and social concerns and issues within a community. Maintaining and enhancing the quality of life is a thematic area found within each of the above aspects of sustainable tourism. Recreation opportunities are one aspect of community quality of life. This study addresses only one issue within sustainable tourism—impacts of tourism on resident outdoor recreation experiences. Unfortunately, planning for tourism usually is designed to expand tourism, and not to expand leisure opportunities for local populations. A number of studies have demonstrated: 1) if recreation services are enhanced for local populations, support for tourism is positive; and 2) if outdoor recreation opportunities for local residents diminished, then there is a lack of support for tourism. Yet, very little is known about the specific concerns residents have and the characteristics of the types of outdoor recreation preferences, experiences, and behaviors being impacted by tourists and tourism development. This study sought to identify specific outdoor recreation resources, preferences and behaviors being impacted by tourism in Hawaii. ANOVA and t-test results indicated there are specific types of impacts that the resident population in Hawaii are concerned about relative to tourism development and promotion. Factor analysis revealed these impacts include the quality of the recreational experiences, improvements to existing recreational opportunities, recreation policy and planning, local preferences and control, and recreational trails.