Monitoring inhabitants’ satisfaction has been identified by global sustainable destinations management standards as one of the essential guidelines to follow when working towards a more sustainable tourism industry. The local community is likely to be the one that suffers rather than benefits from tourism activities when their needs are not considered in tourism development.  Tourism activities are likely to disrupt residents’ quality of life: more traffic, less access to the city centre due to higher prices, etc.

In some destinations, tourists vastly outnumber residents. In 2019, the World Atlas recorded that Andorra hosted more than 33 tourists per 1 resident, Macao almost 25 tourists per 1 resident and, in third place of the list, the British Virgin Islands, welcoming nearly 13 tourists per 1 resident. Even if your destination is not one where tourists outnumber residents, visitors will still have an impact on your local community, and you will want to make sure that it is managed.

In the South Downs, in England, visitors significantly impacted residents’ lives by only walking, hiking, or cycling through the national park. By not respecting rights of way, leaving some gates open (intentionally or not), walking their dog off-leash, visitors were not only damaging the wildlife and the environment but also creating disturbances in stock and causing land management problems for private landowners. Find out more about this project and what recommendations Acorn made to minimise these impacts.

What can you do to understand the impact your visitors have on your residents?

The answer is simple: a resident satisfaction survey. Acorn has created a simple resident satisfaction survey template to get you started and better understand residents’ concerns and aspirations when it comes to visitors and tourism activities in their destinations. Download the resident satisfaction survey template here.




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