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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 2991; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10092991

Attitudes and Perceptions of the Local Community towards Sustainable Tourism Development in Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq

1
Department of Agribusiness and Rural Development, College of Agricultural Sciences, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Regional Government-Iraq, Sulaimani-Bakrajo 5100, Iraq
2
Department of Economic Sciences, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, 3-5 Manastur Street, Cluj-Napoca 400372, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 July 2018 / Revised: 18 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism, Governance and Sustainable Development)
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Abstract

Over the last years, tourism has undergone significant development worldwide, especially in developing countries. Tourism is a multi-faced activity with positive and negative impacts on the destinations, linking the economic, social, and environmental components of sustainable development. The attitude of the host community is an important factor for future tourism planning, management, and development of a tourism destination. As such, the paper analyzes the attitudes and perceptions of the local residents from the Kurdistan Regional Government, located in the northern part of the Republic of Iraq. To achieve the purpose of the research, a survey based on a questionnaire was conducted in Sulaimani and Halabja Governorates. A number of 320 questionnaires were applied in 2016. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and principal component analysis. The results indicate that tourism is seen as a development sector during the last years. Its positive impacts are better perceived than the negative ones, mainly because it offers more recreational opportunities due to the development of new recreational parks. Tourism increases pollution, this being the most negative aspect mentioned by the respondents, but regardless, they are proud of the progress overthe last years and they support future actions for tourism development. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable tourism; tourism impacts; residents’ attitude; destination management; cluster analysis sustainable tourism; tourism impacts; residents’ attitude; destination management; cluster analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Harun, R.; Chiciudean, G.O.; Sirwan, K.; Arion, F.H.; Muresan, I.C. Attitudes and Perceptions of the Local Community towards Sustainable Tourism Development in Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2991.

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