The impact of cultural distance on local residents perception of tourism development: The case of Dubai in UAE

Th is study discusses the importance of understanding cultural differences between tourists and hosts for developing positive cross-cultural tourist interaction and its influence on the host’s perception of sociocultural impacts of tourism. A logistic regression model is used to identify the significant positive as well as negative impacts perceived by hosts who view a significant cultural distance between them and tourists versus those who do not. It is found that there is a significant relationship between the perceived cultural differences and the perceived sociocultural impacts of tourism. Th e majority of respondents who do not perceive cultural differences agree to most of the perceived positive impacts of tourism. Th e results of running the regression model have identified improved quality of life as the largest positive impact. Becoming more proud of their city comes next, then improved infrastructure, followed by an increased variety of leisure attractions, and lastly more shopping varieties and facilities. On the other hand, the study found that higher prices for goods and services are the largest perceived negative impact. Tourist’s failure to respect local customs and moral values comes next, followed by community conflict and tension, then loss of cultural identity, and increased crime. Th e implications of the results for tourism industry managements and marketers are presented as well as areas for future research.

Esmat Zaidan, PhD, Policy Development, and Planning, Department of International Aff airs, College of Arts and Science, Qatar
University, Doha, Qatar;

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