Is tourism participation in protected areas the best livelihood strategy from the perspective of community development and environmental protection?

Yuling Zhang, Xiao Xiao, Chunhui Zheng, Lan Xue, Yongrui Guo, Qitao Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aims to assess the relationship between community development and environmental protection using the variables of perception of livelihood capitals changes and pro-environmental behaviours based on social exchange theory. Residents’ empirical data were collected at the Nanling National Nature Reserve, which is located in south China. Convenience sampling method was used in the survey, and 314 valid samples were collected in total. The results suggest that the perception of livelihood capitals changes has a significant impact on residents’ pro-environmental behaviours, and six types of livelihood capitals have variable effects on specific pro-environmental behaviours among distinct livelihood strategy groups. Under a tourism participation strategy, the overall effect of the perception of livelihood capitals changes on pro-environmental behaviours is the lowest among the three livelihood strategy groups. In addition, the levels of residents’ perception of livelihood capitals changes and pro-environmental behaviours under a tourism participation strategy are higher than those under a farming strategy, and those under a tourism participation strategy are lower than those under other strategies. This study develops a methodological approach to understand the relationship between development and conservation and advances social exchange theory. Several practical implications are discussed, and recommendations for future research are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Livelihood capitals
  • livelihood strategy
  • Nanling National Nature Reserve
  • pro-environmental behaviours
  • tourism participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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