Residents' attitudes and perceptions towards the impact of tourism on the *environment in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Madlyn M Bonimy, Tennessee State University


The present study examines residents' attitudes and perceptions of the impact of tourism on the environment in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The first study of its kind on Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the research particularly underscores how participation and nonparticipation by residents and citizens in community decision making about tourism influences and shapes the way residents perceive the impacts of tourism on the environment. The study is also an analysis of current citizen participation practices which include both the nature and frequency of involvement vis-à-vis decision making in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Specifically, a mail survey was designed, pre-tested, and administered to local residents (registered voters) in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, to determine their attitudes and perceptions of the impact of tourism in their community. Residents were questioned about positive impacts of tourism such as the preservation of historic buildings and sites as well as negative impacts, for example, pollution (air, noise and litter). The survey also assessed the current stage of residents' attitudes using the Doxey (1975) Irridex model. This model classifies residents' attitudes into four regressive stages (euphoria, apathy, irritation and antagonism) as residents perceive with experience the impacts of tourism in their community. In addition, the survey obtained resident and citizen answers and responses on possible solutions that they would support to alleviate tourism-related environmental damage in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Descriptive analysis, descriptive statistics, factor analysis, Cramer's V statistical measures of association and chi-square tests were employed for the analysis and interpretation of the data. Tests of associations and relationships support five hypotheses that residents' perceptions of the impact of tourism are influenced by employment status, short-term residency, and whether or not residents participate in tourism decision making. The hypothesis that residents' perceptions are influenced by greater lengths of residency in the city of Pigeon Forge is rejected. Overall, the study corroborates previous research findings that residents and citizens who participate in community decision making have a more favorable attitude towards the impact of tourism on the environment than those who are less involved or informed. Finally, suggestions on future research are provided.

Subject Area

Public administration|Environmental science

Recommended Citation

Madlyn M Bonimy, "Residents' attitudes and perceptions towards the impact of tourism on the *environment in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee" (2008). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3307300.