September is Tourism Month in this year we will again be making a number of posts linking our research to the challenges and opportunities in this sector:
Tourism takes place at various destinations in South Africa, and tourists often travel to meet their intrinsic and extrinsic growth needs, to participate in leisure activities and thereby enrich themselves with long-lasting memories.
To understand the links between tourism and quality of life, it is important to study tourism from a systems point of view. The aim is to to identify the impact of tourism-related variables on the well-being of tourists. Research in this field also looks at links between tourism and the well-being of residents in a host community. A specific focus includes the quality of life of employees in the tourism industry, investigating the impact of the tourism working environment on employees’ quality of life.
South African studies in this field have found a number of interesting results:
- Intrinsic and extrinsic travel motives can influence tourists’ quality of life, thereby reinforcing customer loyalty, repeat patronage and positive word-of-mouth communications. From a societal point of view, tourists with higher levels of quality of life often display pro-social behaviour.
- The positive economic, environmental, social and cultural impacts of tourism influence residents’ quality of life in a positive way, but the negative environmental and social impacts of tourism do not seem to have such a negative influence on residents’ quality of life in a host community.
- Finally, with regard to the influence of the tourism work environment on employees’ quality of work life, it was found that economic and family issues, work arrangements, feeling good at work, personal potential, learning opportunities, creativity and aesthetic issues and physical health and safety can all contribute to an employee’s quality of work life.
Recent trendy concepts such as ‘smart growth’, ‘slow food’, ‘sustainability’, ‘poverty reduction’ and ‘quality of work life’ are very important in enhancing the quality of life of tourists, residents of host communities and employees in tourism.
Cini, F., Kruger, S., & Ellis, S. (2013). “A Model of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations on Subjective Well-Being: The Experience of Overnight Visitors to a National Park.” Applied Research in Quality of Life, 8(1): 45-61.
Kruger, S., Rootenberg, C., & Ellis, S. (2013). “Examining the Influence of the Wine Festival Experience on Tourists’ Quality of Life.” Social Indicators Research, 111(2): 435-452.
Rootenberg, C. 2013. A model of perceived impacts of tourism on residents’ quality of life in selected towns. Unpublished PhD dissertation. North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Uysal, M., Perdue, R. R., & Sirgy, M. (2012). Handbook of Tourism and Quality-of-Life Research. International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life. Springer Netherlands.