Rural residents’ attitudes to tourism and the moderating effects of social capital

Duk Byeong Park, Robin Nunkoo, Yoo Shik Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


Scholars have rarely considered the role of social capital in shaping residents’ reactions to tourism development. A theoretical model integrating research on residents’ attitudes, community development, and social capital was developed and tested on a sample of 556 Korean rural residents using structural equation modeling. Multi-group analysis was used to test the moderating effects of social capital on each path relationships proposed in the model. Results indicated that perceived environmental impacts of tourism influenced community satisfaction, which in turn predicted support for tourism. Residents’ perceptions of the socioeconomic impacts of tourism influenced their support for rural tourism. Social capital shaped the ways in which residents responded to tourism development. Interestingly, our results suggest that a high level of social capital among community members is not always desirable as it does not foster pro-tourism attitudes. The lesson to be drawn is that only if the negative consequences of social capital are recognized and managed can communities be built in ways that contribute to sustainable rural tourism development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-133
Number of pages22
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • community tourism development
  • multi-group analysis
  • residents’ attitudes
  • rural tourism
  • social capital
  • structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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