The Moderating Impact of Community Support on Tri-Dimensional Impacts of Tourism (Economic, Socio-Cultural, & Environmental) towards Rural Tourism Competitive Advantage

By Lim, Jason; Lo, May-Chiun et al. | International Journal of Business and Society, January 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

The Moderating Impact of Community Support on Tri-Dimensional Impacts of Tourism (Economic, Socio-Cultural, & Environmental) towards Rural Tourism Competitive Advantage


Lim, Jason, Lo, May-Chiun, Mohamad, Abang Azlan, Chin, Chee-Hua, Ramayah, T., International Journal of Business and Society


1.INTRODUCTION

Tourism is always on limelight as a tool to the development of our nation to supplement other industries. It is the simplest and most effective way to promote our culture, environments and social elements in the domestic manner at the international level. It has been in a great growth for past 10 years and many tourists have been hunting for authentic and sustainable holiday experiences for rest and relaxation (Buffa, 2015). The state of Sarawak is naturally rich in nature resources. According to Ruiz-Molina, Gil-Saura, and Moliner-Velázquez (2010) and Moric (2013), tourism stakeholders have re-centered the focus on rural tourism in line with its potential as an alternative plan for creating source of income. It is said to be a tool to improve local welfare and its standards of living (Peptenatu, Pintilii, Drăghici, and Stoian, 2009; Probstl-Haider, Melzer, and Jiricka, 2014; Aliman, Hashim, Wahid, & Harudin, 2016). Hence, rural tourism development should work hand in hand with community and involved range of community resources (Cawley and Gillmor, 2008). The potential of tourism is indefinite in impacting a nation's economy (Kalaiya and Kumar, 2015), thus, it is beneficiary to the communities. There are researches proving that this industry has dynamic contribution of economic gains to the communities (Yu, Chancellor, and Cole, 2011).

Competitiveness to a host destination especially in rural tourism has always be a concern to the stakeholders as it is particularly the main factor to lead to its performance (Cimbaljevic and Bucic, 2015) specifically rural tourism is increasingly challenging in tourism market (Zainuddin, Radzi, and Zahari, 2013) as rural tourism is still viewed as very niche and unexposed in the local context. As a result, increase competitive advantage to a host destination is somehow necessary if rural tourism is valued and to be invested for future development. However, in the Malaysian context, according to Lo, Songan, Ramayah, Yeo, and Nair (2013), a growing competition is said to be fierce among rural tourism industries. As quoted by Chon, Uysal, Fesenmaier and O'Leary (2014), Ramseook-Munhurrun, Naidoo, Seebaluck, and Pillai (2016) rural tourism sector has also been stiff in competition for past decades. One of the reasons that has been identified for declining numbers of visitors to a tourism destination is dissatisfaction toward the quality of services and products provided in most general cases. (Arabatzis and Grigoroudis, 2009; Yusof and Rahman, 2011). Hence, the objective of this study is to examine the impact of introducing community support as a moderator to increase competitive advantage between its relationships with economic impact, socio-cultural impact and environmental impact respectively.

2.LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1.Tourism Competitive Advantage

Competitive advantage in tourism is none the less than having the ideology of preserving the destination uniqueness (Căprărescu, Daniela, and Stancu, 2013), making use of the current resources and sustain it efficiently with strategic management and support aids from government and aligned vision from a pool of stakeholders (Oye, Okafor & Kinjir, 2013). Besides, attractive marketing structure from collaborated tourism providers is also important in market development sector (Gorman, 2005; Ritchie and Crouch, 1993). The ability to duplicate or imitate the competitive advantage of one destination to another destination will then be recognized losing the competitive advantage by the former. There are factors that contribute to one destination's competitive advantage.

2.2. Tri-dimensional Impacts

Frechtling (1994), suggests that economic impact is the result that is directly affected by travel industry and could also be explained as its secondary costs and benefits brought by travel industry. It is also viewed as the net economic change that is in line with expenditure from tourists in host destination for an event or facility (Turco and Kelsey, 1992). …

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