Residents’ perceptions towards cruise tourism development: the case of Esperance, Western Australia
Taylor and Francis
School of Business and Law
Cruise tourism is a sector of the global tourism industry that is enjoying rapid growth. New itineraries and ports-of-call are developing to cater to the growing demand and attract growing market interest. The perceptions of local residents as a major stakeholder are crucial to determine the success of future tourism development. Studies of residents’ perceptions towards tourism development are widespread in the tourism literature but few focuses on the special nature of cruise tourism. Through in-depth interviews with local residents in Esperance, Western Australia, it was found that residents have a generally positive perception of, and are supportive towards, the presence of cruise tourism in the town. The findings also reveal resident dissatisfaction with the current organisation and management of cruise ship visits to the town and with the cruise lines conduct towards local tourism business. The results of this study help us to understand the impact of cruise tourism on local residents. Understanding dissenting attitudes will allow the stakeholder groups responsible for cruise tourism development in Esperance and other similar ports-of-call to take action to mitigate negative sentiments within their community as well as formulate a localised strategy for the better management of present and future cruise visits.