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The model validation of the sustainable tourism attitude for the island residents in Taiwan: A multiple groups Confirmatory Factor Analysis
tourism resource management
We investigated and validated a model of the attitude and support of offshore island residents toward sustainable tourism. We conducted a 2-stage empirical study. The first empirical study involved testing the cross-cultural validity of the Chinese Sustainable Tourism Attitude Scale and examining the optimal model fit and measurement invariance of this scale. The second empirical study entailed examining the relationships between the factors influencing residents’ attitudes and support toward sustainable tourism. In the first phase of the first empirical study, we collected 300 valid questionnaires from residents of Magong City, Penghu County. We applied an exploratory factor analysis to the collected data and determined that the psychometric properties observed in the Chinese Sustainable Tourism Attitude Scale were consistent with those in the original scale. In the second phase of the first empirical study, we collected 1,152 valid questionnaires from residents of Penghu County, Kinmen County, and Lienchiang County (with each county having 384 respondents) to test the dimensionality and model fit of the Chinese Sustainable Tourism Attitude Scale. The results revealed a 4-dimensional solution of the scale; the data obtained across the 3 counties supported the measurement invariance. In the second empirical study, we collected 384 valid questionnaires from residents of Qimei Township, Penghu County, to study their attitudes toward sustainable tourism. We analyzed the collected data by using structural equation modeling. The estimated model indicated that the Maximizing Community Participation dimension demonstrated a positive direct effect on supporting sustainable tourism and that this dimension explained most of the variance in the model. The Perceived Economic Benefits dimension exhibited a positive direct effect on supporting sustainable tourism. Perceived Economic Benefits mediated the effect of Environmental Sustainability on supporting sustainable tourism. Our findings indicated that a structural equation model integrating social exchange theory and the stakeholder theory can effectively explain the relationships among factors influencing the attitudes and support of offshore island residents toward sustainable tourism. The findings provide practical implications for policy makers on how to promote sustainable tourism. First, practitioners should encourage the residents of offshore islands to be either directly or indirectly involved at the planning stage to determine the type of tourism to be implemented in their areas. Second, practitioners should set regulations to conserve natural and cultural tourism resources to sustain the level of economic benefits, which motivate local residents to support sustainable tourism.
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