“Tourism is a goose that not only lays a golden egg, but also fouls its own nest” (Hawkins, 1982). Identifying both positive and negative aspects of tourism impacts, indeed, is of importance in tourism management and planning. Besides, studying perceived impact will provide an opportunity to better understand the impacts of tourism, therefore, will be able to contribute to sustainable tourism development. The question arises if the perceived impacts are the same among stakeholders since their needs and expectations are different. To answer this, numerous studies have compared perspectives on tourism impacts between different stakeholder groups, also in the hopes of better understanding the attitudes and interests of stakeholders as well as tourism impacts.

Original article: Erick T. Byrd, Holly E. Bosley and Meghan G. Dronberger; Comparisons of stakeholder perceptions of tourism impacts in rural eastern North Carolina; Tourism Management 30 (2009) 693–703

For decades tourism industry has been a major contributor to increased economy throughout the world. However, tourism is not a panacea for the economic decline1.  It has the potential to create both positive and negative impacts. Formally addressing the impacts of tourism facilitates planning that helps a community create a sustainable tourism industry2. Furthermore, Byrd and Gustke (2004) found that perceived impact was one of the main predictors for stakeholder support for sustainable tourism development1.

Each stakeholder groups has a different set of needs and expectations (Donald Getz and Seldjan Timur) and these differences lead to various perceived impacts or even conflicts among stakeholders. Therefore, a clear understanding of stakeholders and their perceived impacts is a necessary precursor to the planning and management of sustainable tourism.

According to Erick T. Byrd at el, numerous studies have discussed the attitudes and perceptions of individual stakeholder groups and limited researches have compared multiple stakeholder groups. Their research, carried out in two eastern North Carolina locations, consequently, aimed at compare the perspectives on tourism impacts between four stakeholder groups: residents, entrepreneurs, government officials, and tourists.

The results indicated that there were differences in the perceptions of tourism impacts between stakeholder groups studied, thus, also supported many of the findings by previous researchers.

The perceptions to local economic benefit showed the greatest differences between stakeholder groups. It could explained by the differences in economic benefits stakeholders got or/and their insufficient awareness of economic benefits, especially of the other stakeholder groups.

The research also found that the residents and the local government officials had different perceptions about the impacts tourism. For every statement, the government officials had the most positive perceptions, while the residents had the least. And residents had a higher level of agreement than government officials on the negative impact items. This result was also supported by previous studies of Murphy (1983); Lankford (1994)1. This can be explained that the government officials, who are considered as representatives of social, other stakeholders included, are responsible for managerial activities, which include tourism management and planning. Thus they have sufficient awareness of tourism impacts on destinations. While other stakeholder groups may know only about their costs and benefits from tourism and do not have the general view as the governments do. The government officials, however, may not be aware of the negative impacts, actual and perceived, that the residents experienced from tourism1.

According to Erick T. Byrd at el, based on their research result, together with previous studies, it can be assumed that stakeholder groups will differ in their perceptions of tourism development in their community.

Relating to Vietnam, differences are also occurred in difference stakeholders. Be involving in a survey for a pro-poor tourism research, carried out in July 2008 in Central Region of Vietnam, I have met and interviewed local residents, local governments, enterprises and tourists. I also found the differences in their perspective of tourism impacts on local community. For example, governments recognized more negative impacts on environment than local residents; governments didn’t realize so much negative impact that residents experienced from tourism such as low salary jobs, seasonality. I, besides, found that residents and enterprises had little voices in tourism decisions making and tourism planning process.

Consequently, it is needed to reduce the differences since as agreement across stakeholder interests increased, so did the likelihood of collaboration and compromise (Sautter and Leisen, 1999)1. Education, communication, and involvement should be done in order to achieve a balanced perspective among stakeholder voices. Also, the community planners and destination management organizations (DMOs) need to be concerned with all stakeholders in the community1 in the process of sustainable tourism development.


  1. Erick T. Byrd, Holly E. Bosley and Meghan G. Dronberger; 2009; Comparisons of stakeholder perceptions of tourism impacts in rural eastern North Carolina; Tourism Management, Volume 30, 693–703
  2. Glenn Kreag; 2001; The impacts of tourism; Minnesota Sea Grant
  3. Donald Getz and Seldjan Timur; Stakeholder involvement in sustainable tourism: balancing the voices
  4. UNEP ISLANDS Web Site, http://islands.unep.ch/siemi7.htm