Cultural tourism is one of the fastest developing sectors of the tourism industry. The objective of this paper was to investigate and interpret the opinion of people living in the city of Trikala, Greece on the economic impact of cultural tourism in their city. This research is positioned over a period of intense economic crisis. The empirical analysis was based on a cross-sectional data set, which was derived from a sample survey of the residents. Descriptive statistics were used to outline the profile of the city's residents.
Based on the empirical analysis, it was revealed that the views of the residents were associated with some of their demographic characteristics. Generally, residents recognized the economic impact of cultural tourism, despite the early stage of its development.
The empirical analysis was based on a multiple linear regression model, which states that the degree of residents’ agreement with the view that "the money spent on the development of cultural tourism in the city is a good investment," are influenced by income, employment, residents’ pleasure for the temporary level of tourism in the city, the degree residents’ agreement on the contribution of cultural tourism a) holding young people in their place, and b) offering economic benefits only in a few people.
Other factors that influence the above view of the residents is the degree of agreement with the following views: benefits of cultural tourism will outweigh the negative impacts, willingness to pay higher taxes in order to create more jobs, there should be special tax for tourists, and finally tourism businesses should belong to local people, hire local people and buy products and services from local people, in order to support the local economy.
Keywors: Cultural tourism, Trikala city, financial impacts of cultural tourism
The term "culture" was developed in the 18th century, as an expression of western consciousness. It refers to social structure and techniques and features a set of people and societies (Vryzas, 2005). It also refers to all mental events (customs, arts, technical, scientific and artistic achievements) of society or nation (Karagiannis, 2011). According to MacDonald and Jolliffe (2003) culture involves family patterns, folklore, social customs, museums, monuments, historic structures, artifacts, natural history and even wilderness areas. Particularly, the World Heritage Convention held in 1972, recorded with clarity the meaning of "cultural heritage", which includes the works of architecture, building blocks and spaces (human creations or nature and human creations) (Mitoula, 2011). Cultural objects are not just creations and expressions, but are everything considered as cultural heritage from historical perspective, which accumulated over the years and offer a sense of heritage (Báez Montenegro et al., 2009).
Cultural heritage is a major issue since it can be preserved for future use, while benefiting the present (MacDonald and Jolliffe, 2003). It is the basis for increasing the attractiveness of tourism and cultural offer of local communities (Huibin et al, 2012).
Culture, as a tourist attraction, plays an important role for international tourists and an important source of foreign exchange income (Popescu and Corbos 2010, Huibin et al, 2012). It is assumed that the increased demand for cultural heritage to various destinations has enhanced the tourism competitiveness (Bowitz and Ibenholt, 2009).
Nowadays, culture is a factor of great importance for the design of national tourism policy. Culture, as a concept, is associated with the occurrence and development of cities. However, it is a means for tourism promotion in rural and regional areas (Bachleitner and Zins, 1999), as many studies have shown that culture and tourism are resources for socio-economic development in regional communities (MacDonald and Jolliffe, 2003).
The increase in tourism attractiveness through cultural heritage and the effective promotion and exploitation of cultural resources can enhance the tourism competitiveness at local level. However, the international literature (research and practice) has proved that the residents’ attitude towards cultural initiatives of tourism is essential for the sustainability of its development and final success.
CULTURAL TOURISM AND ITS FINANCIAL BENEFITS
Cultural tourism is defined as the movement of people to cultural attractions away from their normal place of residence with the intention to collect new information and experiences in order to meet their cultural needs (Bachleitner and Zins, 1999, Shamsuddoha et al, 2011). It is a kind of special interest tourism, based on search and participation in aesthetic, spiritual, emotional and psychological experiences. It is approached by a holistic way, but with emphasis on heritage (monuments, archaeological sites, museums, etc.) (Keitumetse, 2009, Huibin et al, 2012, Hughes and Allen, 2005). Cultural tourism includes tourism in urban cities (mainly historical and large cities) and historical buildings (such as museums, theaters). It can also include tourism in rural and regional areas, showcasing the traditions of indigenous communities, their values and lifestyle (Besculides et al, 2002, Shamsuddoha et al, 2011, Huibin et al, 2012). Cultural tourism is also interested in local language, cuisine, technology of the past, clothing and leisure activities (Asplet and Cooper, 2000).
Cultural tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism industry (Wang et al., 2008). Its demand in Europe has increased significantly since 1970, due to "new middle class", with high education and income levels (Richards, 1996).
Cultural tourism contributes to local economic regeneration and prosperity, as it creates new job opportunities (Besculides et al, 2002). It also contributes to the increase of national income, by intensive utilization of the available workforce and stimulates investment (food, accommodation, entertainment). When the investment belongs to local investors, the profit remains in the region and helps to further investment (Ioan-Franc and Istoc, 2007). Simultaneously, cultural tourism encourages the opening of small and medium enterprises with local traditional products (Bachleitner and Zins, 1999), reinforces the learning of residents, assessment, awareness, pride of community, national identity, exchanging of ideas. Furthermore, it increases the demand for local arts production (Burns and Sancho, 2003, Taylor, 2001, Besculides et al, 2002). Therefore, proper management of cultural tourism has positive socioeconomic impacts and may even contribute to the preservation and protection of cultural resources (Ioan-Franc and Istoc, 2007).
Cultural tourism is likely to be successful when there is a realistic assessment of the tourism value of the assets of the groups involved and the need to maintain basic cultural values (McKercher et al, 2005). Cultural resources have been used as a means to enhance economic stability, while little research has been conducted on other possible benefits (personal, sociopolitical, economic, and environmental) that tourism can bring to local communities (Besculides et al, 2002). Generally, more research is needed for cultural tourism in regional areas, particularly in the fields such as the development of attractions, entrepreneurship encouragement, information of markets, quality service supply and attractiveness preservation (MacDonald and Jolliffe, 2003).
A more effective promotion of employment and utilization of available cultural resources will lead to an increase of the produced GDP and a growth in the number of jobs created by the travelling expenses and tourism industry. In addition it will lead to a significant increase in the number of international and local arrivals of visitors and, international and local tourism revenues as well (Dugulan et al, 2010).
RESIDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF TOURIST AREAS
Studies have shown that residents’ perceptions are affected by their dependence on tourism activities and the creation of jobs for residents (Sdrali and Chazapi, 2007, Bachleitner and Zins, 1999, Besculides et al., 2002). When cultural tourism is used as a tool for development in rural areas, policy makers should consider factors such as cultural identity and authenticity, because they may be affected due to the growing impacts of tourism (Bachleitner and Zins, 1999). Of course, residents worry that by sharing their culture, can lead to commercialization. In order for cultural tourism to provide economic and cultural benefits to the community, the residents should be positive and participate actively in the care and protection of their cultural heritage (Besculides et al., 2002).
The support of tourism development of the host community is affected by the level of the residents’ concern, the exploitation of tourism resources by them, the state of the local economy, and the costs and expected benefits of tourism development (Gursoy et al., 2002). It has been found that residents support tourism when economic benefits arise. Generally, the economic profit is more noticeable by residents than social or environmental (Ritchie and Inkari, 2006).
In most communities, the benefits of tourism are gathered in a limited number of people, those who have the capital to invest. Local authorities should distribute the benefits of tourism to the local community, allowing, in this way, a larger proportion of local population to benefit from the tourism development. At the same time, regular monitoring of tourism development should provide information for the needs and views of the residents of local communities (Andriotis and Vaughan, 2003).
National or regional tourism development program should be adapted in order to meet the needs of each community. Otherwise it is unlikely to bring satisfactory results from the viewpoint of residents. Research results show that there is a relationship between the attitude of residents towards tourism and the final result (Andereck and Vogt, 2000). They also show that tourism offers many economic benefits, and the residents’ standard of living is increasing due to tourism.
Other studies also show a complex relationship between the level of economic development, the level of tourism development, and the expected perceived socioeconomic and environmental impacts. Very few believe that tourism will provide more jobs, will increase investment, and predict that prices of goods and services will be higher due to tourism. Almost 3/4 of respondents consider that a small group of people, and not the whole community, are reaping the economic benefits (Johnson et al., 1994). As for the economic impacts, residents believe that tourism will attract investment in the region (mainly the locals) (Sevgin et al., 1996).
Overall, residents support tourism development and very few have a negative attitude. Older residents recognize that tourism is a strong and sustainable economic development strategy in order to confront the weakening of other economic sectors. Other studies show that residents are satisfied with the way that tax money is spent on advertising and updating on tourism issues (Liu and Var, 1986). Finally, residents who live in rural areas may perceive tourism as an important economic development strategy (Latkova and Vogt, 2011). THE CITY OF TRIKALA
The city of Trikala, is located in the center of Greece, in the prefecture of Trikala, in the region of Thessaly and covers an area of 3,367 square kilometers. (Nimas, 1987). According to data from the Greek National Statistical Service, based on the 2011 census, the permanent population of the city is 80,900 residents while the regional unit of Trikala is 129,700 residents (www.statistics.gr). The ground of the region is mostly mountainous (71%), but the city is located on a flat area. The climate is continental. In the plain area the summer is too hot and the winter is too cold. Rains are frequent and snow in recent years is rare.
Trikala is one of the oldest cities in Greece. It was inhabited since the 3rd C B.C.. In 1200 A.D. Anna Komnene, Princess of Byzantium. indicated the name of Trikala (Katsoyannou 1992, Papazisis 1996). The city has monuments and intense cultural activity, which in recent years has increased greatly. The main attractions, historical and architectural monuments, museums, infrastructures and the main expressions of cultural identity of the city are presented below. These are strong elements of the city’s cultural identity, and strong tourist attraction poles.
Map 1: The city of Trikala in Greece
Sightseeings / Historical and architectural monuments
Varousi is the oldest traditional settlement of the city with medieval town planning. The oldest buildings were dated from 1800 to 1900 (Kleidonopoulos, 2003). Varousi is a residential area with bunk houses, northern Greek architecture and narrow helical streets (Kleidonopoulos, 2003) and without shopping and entertainment centers. Underneath the houses there are Trikki’ s Asklipieio and the ancient theater (Nimas, 1987). In this region there are late Byzantine churches with wonderful wall paintings, inscriptions and temples. (Ziakas, 1978)
The Byzantine fortress dates back the 6th century AD (classical and Hellenistic era) (Ziakas, 1978). It holds the site of the ancient acropolis which was surrounded by walls of classical era. It was completely renovated in the 6th century by Justinian (Papazisis, 1996).
Asclepieion of ancient Trikke: Many ancient authors argue that God of medicine, Aesculapius, came from the ancient Triki, and that there was the oldest and most important Asklipieio (sanatorium) of antiquity (Papastergiou, 1998). The first excavations were carried out by archaeologist P. Kastriotis in 1902 with expenditure of the Municipality of Trikala. They were continued in 1964, since then had been stopped as a result not to have exploited this important archaeological monument (Nimas, 1987).
The Koursoum Mosque (Mosque of Osman Shah), a characteristic monument of oriental architecture and one of the last remaining in Greece, is located in the city center. It is the only survived of overall 7 that the city had. The importance of this mosque, except from its seniority and the fact that it was built by a great architect, Sinan ( who had built 81 mosques), results from its majestic dome (Nimas, 1987). It was built in the 16th century after the Turkish order of Prince Osman Siach (son of Sultan Suleiman) in the years of the Great Empire Suleiman (1520-1566).
The Mill of Matsopoulos is located SW of the city. In 1884 the first pasta factory was settled there and a little later one of the first flour milling of Greece. It is the first mill that was built in Greece, the largest in the Balkans and one of the most important traditional monuments of Industrial Heritage in Greece. This building complex, along with the surrounding area of 90 acres, is more than 3,500 m2. Mill consists of 3 floors, its internal installations are all wooden, its external lining is made of stone and is surrounded by greenery. Today, themillservesasculturalcenter.
River Lithaios and bridges: The River Lithaios secures the water supply of the city (Moutsopoulos, 1987), through the town of Trikala diagonally from NW to the SE. According to the ancient geographer Stravonas, the god of medicine, Asclepius, was born on its banks. Over the past, the 2 banks of Lithaios were connected with 3 stone bridges and 1 wooden footbridge, while now with 11 large and solid bridges of which half are for pedestrians. The central bridge was constructed in 1886 by French engineers (length 31m., Height 6.30 m) and is metallic (Nimas, 1987). In the riverbed there are ornamentals and vegetation. Also, in the city center, at intervals there are canoe-kayak lessons.
Archaeological Collection of Trikki, was gathered in 1902 by the first excavation and hosts objects from the 6th millennium until the Byzantine period. The exhibits include pieces of marble statues, votive reliefs, sculptures, inscriptions, coins. (new.trikalacity.gr,www.grfun.gr).
Municipal Folklore Museum was founded in 1991. The collection includes, objects of everyday (or domestic) use, folk art, costumes, embroideries, tools of traditional professions (late 18th century - mid 20th century), photographs and documents of the same period. The social role of the museum is important, where in collaboration with the Association of Friends of Folk Museum, organizes events, exhibitions, conferences and revivals of traditional customs. The building is an excellent example of urban architecture and monument of local history.
Municipal Athletic History Museum was founded in 1998 and presents the athletic history of Trikala from 1896 up to date (references to the old and modern Olympic Games, Paralympic, World Sport and 'GREEK' champions). Also, there are cups and discriminations of local sports (new.trikalacity.gr).
Diocese Museum is housed in the city's Metropolitan Hall and consists of the following halls: a) Ecclesiastical Museum, with ecclesiastical items, icons, liturgical vessels, candelabra lamps, screens, gospels, and vestments. b) Folklore Museum, with folklore and everyday items from previous years, such as folk art objects, utensils, textiles, embroidery, jewellery, traditional clothing, furniture, photographs (objects of the 19th and 20th centuries). c) Library, which serves as a reading room open to the public and includes 19,000 books. d) Lecture Hall. (new.trikalacity.gr).
Katsikogiannis’s Museum was founded in 1994 and exhibits 1,236 paintings and 114 sculptures and drawings. It reflects in all its manifestations, the struggle of Greeks for social justice, brotherhood and peace. (new.trikalacity.gr).
History and Culture Center of Kliafa company. A characteristic industrial building of 1926. Is built on an area of 1,740 sq.m. with buildings that accommodated, for decades, the carbonated soft drinks factory, ice factory and cold stores. The "History and Culture Center", opened in 2003 and includes: 1) local history room, 2) Hall of Kliafa company, 3) Traditional Printing Office, 4) gallery of carbonated drinks, 5) old machine room, 6) hall for cultural events, 7) Children & Teens Library and 8) newspaper Archive (www.kliafa.gr).
Greek Music Center of Trikala Citizens’ Creations. It was founded in order to gather, preserve and promote the musical heritage of the city. It works as a music history museum. (new.trikalacity.gr).
Map 2: The city of Trikala with its cultural elements
Traditional dances and local songs: Climate, geographic location and socio-economic relations, often affect the local art. In Trikala region, due to the coexistence of mountain and plain, there are plain dances and the dances of mountain areas (Soulios, 2002-2003).
Nutrition: Food is part of culture and civilization. Over the years the diet of the citizens of Trikala has suffered variations. Nevertheless, on the outskirts, families cultivate many essentials. The physiognomy of city is inextricably linked with the "Trikalino Sausage" (with leek), local meats and various cheeses and dairy products (the contribution of the local dairy company “TRIKKI” is important). Pies, such as vegetablepies, cheesepies, meatpies, pumpkinpies, milkpies, pies with corn, vegetables and cheese, etc. are characteristic (http://6lyk-trikal. tri.sch.gr / paradosiaka_faghta.html). In the region, local products are also produced such as soft drinks and juices from local company Kliafa, tsipouro, wine, traditional spoon sweets (fig, chestnut, walnut, cherry, watermelon, tomato, carrot, etc.) thyme honey, frumenty, etc. (Christmas custom: pork with leek and fat, usually cooked in a cauldron) (Koufogiannis, 1994-95)
A group of businessmen of Trikala, with the coordination and assistance of Trikala Chamber created a non-profit organization "TRIKALA TASTE" to preserve and promote the local traditional cuisine. In the context of the actions an organized network of restaurants, taverns, pastry shops with traditional products was created.(www.trikala-chamber.gr).
The Cultural Organization of the Municipality of Trikala with significant action, created the Municipal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Municipal Library, the Municipal Conservatory, Municipal Dancing Group, the Municipal Chorus, the Municipal Art Gallery, the Art Workshop, the Municipal Puppetry and Shadow Theatre, the Municipal Folklore Museum, the Social Intervention Center, Greek Music Artists Center of Trikala, the Municipal Theatre, the Municipal Athletic History Museum and the Art Gallery of T. Marcello. (www.libver.gr).
A fieldwork took place in order to investigate the factors that influence residents' views on whether the money spent on the cultural tourism development in the city of Trikala is a good investment. A total of 400 questionnaires were distributed to the residents of Trikala city in the period between June and July 2012. Of these questionnaires, 372 were valid, and were used in the statistical analysis. The questionnaires were completed anonymously, and the sample was chosen by a random sampling method. Data processing and statistical analysis was performed with the use of SPSS18.
The statistical analysis shows that the participation of women (58%) was higher than that of men (42%). Greater was the participation of young people aged 18-27 years old (28%), 26.3% were 35-45 years old, 23.7% were 28-34 years old and 22% were from 46-68 years. With regard to the educational level, 50.3% were of higher education and the majority of respondents were employed (80.1%). In terms of income, 10.2% of respondents had income until 5.000 €, 19.9% from 5.001 € to 10.000 €, 33.1% from 10.001 € to 20.000 €, 24.2% from 20.001 € to 30.000 €, 8.3% from 30.001 € to 40.000 €, and only 4.3% of the sample had over 40.001 €.
Characteristic is that 94.4% of respondents are not satisfied with the temporary level of tourism in the city. It is generally argued that the contribution of cultural tourism to the economy of a region is important. Most residents (56%) believe that cultural tourism development can retain young people in their place, 72.6% consider that cultural tourism contribute to the development of local economy and market. 43% consider that cultural tourism does not contribute or contribute little to the increase of living cost, only 24% believe that it benefits (much to too much) economically only a few people. Subsequently, 69.6% agree that the benefits of cultural tourism will outweigh the consequences. Only 29.6% would be willing to pay higher taxes if more jobs will be created. 56.2% disagree with the view that tourists will have to pay more than locals for visiting attractions and to be a special tax on them. The overriding majority (74.4%) agrees that tourism businesses should be owned locals, hire locals and buy products and services from the locals. Finally, with regard to the main question of our research, the 68.6% agree that the money spent on the cultural tourism development is a good investment for the region.
Multiple linear regression:
In the analysis of multiple linear regression, the dependent variable is the measurement of opinion for cultural tourism investment. The independent variables are demographic data, which are measured with appropriate dummy variables, and also the opinions on relevant issues. The regression model to be estimated is the following:
quantitative variable which expresses the respondent’s degree of agreement with the view that cultural tourism can keep the young at home. 1 = completely disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = fully agree
quantitative variable which expresses the respondent’s degree of agreement with the view that cultural tourism contributes to the development of regional economy and market. 1 = completely disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = fully agree
quantitative variable which expresses the respondent’s degree of agreement with the view that cultural tourism contributes to the increase of cost of living. 1 = completely disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = fully agree
quantitative variable which expresses the respondent’s degree of agreement with the view that only a few people are financially benefited by cultural tourism. 1 = completely disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = fully agree
quantitative variable which expresses the respondent’ s degree of agreement with the view that the benefits of cultural tourism will outweigh the impacts. 1 = completely disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = fully agree
quantitative variable which expresses the respondent’ s degree of willingness to pay a higher tax if create more jobs. 1 = completely disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = fully agree
quantitative variable which expresses the respondent’ s degree of agreement with the view that tourists should pay more than locals to see the sights and generally there should be a special tax for them. 1 = completely disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = fully agree
quantitative variable which expresses the respondent’ s degree of agreement with the view that tourism businesses should belong to local people, hire local people and buy products and services from the locals. 1 = completely disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = fully agree
The second column of Table 1 describes each variable of the equation (1). The second column of Table 2 presents the results of equation (1) for all of explanatory variables. The non-significant variables were removed from the original model and the results of the final model are presented in the third column of Table 2.
According to the adjusted coefficient of determination the model explains the 44.5% of the variability of the dependent variable. That is, the variability of opinion about whether the money spent on the development of cultural tourism is a good investment, depends 44.5% of the independent variables.
Table 2: Multiple linear regression estimation for the residents’ degree of agreement to the investment in cultural tourism.
Note: ***, **,*, represent the level of significant at 1%, 5% and 10% respectively.
The analysis showed that gender and age do not affect the dependent variable. Therefore, both men and women express the same opinion on average for investment in cultural tourism. Similarly, people of all ages express the same opinion on average.
The same conclusion arose for education. Respondents with or without higher education, do not express a different opinion on average about investment in cultural tourism. Individuals who are out of the income category 5.001 € - 10.000 € also express the same opinion on average. The degree of agreement with the view that cultural tourism contributes to the development of the local economy and market, and the degree of agreement with the view that the cultural tourism contributes to the increase of cost of living, do not interpret the degree of agreement with the view that the money spent on cultural tourism development is a good investment.
According to the final model, the estimated equation of the factors that determine the level of agreement for the cultural tourism development is:
Income is statistically significant determinant of the degree of agreement on cultural tourism investment at the 1% level. More specifically, the negative sign indicates that people with income 5.000 € - 10.000 € express less positive opinion on cultural tourism investment by 0.236 points on average than those with income below 5.000 €. The rest have similar characteristics. Thus, these people express less positive opinion on cultural tourism investment compared to other income groups.
Employment is statistically significant determinant of the degree of agreement on cultural tourism investment at 5% level. More specifically, the negative sign indicates that people who work have less positive opinion at 0.184 points on average than the unemployed people.
The same way, concerning the level of significance and the sign, residents who are not satisfied with the temporary level of tourism influence positively the degree of agreement for cultural tourism investment. The more residents believe that cultural tourism can keep young people at home, the more they form a positive opinion at 0.070 points on average for cultural tourism investment. As residents believe that cultural tourism can benefit only few people, they form negative opinion at 0.100 points on average for cultural tourism investment. As long as residents believe that cultural tourism can bring more benefits than negative impacts, they agree more that money spent on the cultural tourism development is a good investment.
As long as residents are willing to pay more tax if more jobs will be created, they agree more with the investment for the development in cultural tourism. The view of residents that there should be a special tax for tourists (pay more) interprets statistically significant level of agreement for investment in cultural tourism at 1% and it seems to adversely influence it. Finally, as the residents agree that tourism businesses should be owned by locals, hire locals and buy products and services from locals, they more agree on cultural tourism investment.
The current study indicates that tourism development offers short-term benefits and long-term investment. When tourism development is at an early stage in a region, the responses of residents are ambivalent about the positive and negative effects. The overall positive attitude towards tourism development is due to the belief that the benefits of the industry outweigh the costs for residents.
The investigation revealed that the acceptance of tourism development by the residents is important to the long term success of tourism in a region. In order to provide both financial and cultural benefits to the community, the residents should be actively involved in the care and protection of their cultural heritage. To ensure a high level of support for the cultural tourism development, it should be understood by the relevant operators that local community is not homogeneous and need training in order to recognize the benefits from the cultural tourism development. Local authorities should distribute benefits within the local community and not be concentrated in a few people, so that a greater proportion of the local population to take advantage from the tourism expansion.
The providers of tourist services should implement and monitor an approach of integrated management for quality of cultural tourism, specifying standards, quality and integration of concerns of tourists and residents. To develope a sustainable tourism industry, the views of all relevant groups within the community should be heard, especially the minority or those who oppose, in order to provide information about the needs, views and wishes of local communities. In contrast, the absence of sustainable economic alternatives reduces satisfaction and continuous support for tourism. The tourism development program which is not adapted to meet the needs of each community is unlikely to bring satisfactory results from the perspective of residents.
The study focused on exploring the factors that influence the residents’ degree of agreement with the view that "the money spent on the cultural tourism development in the city is a good investment." The empirical results showed that those who work and have an income of 5.001 € -10.000 €, have more negative attitude towards cultural tourism investment. Also, the study has shown that keeping young people at home (through job creation) is an important factor and priority to the residents’ views. On the other hand, the residents have negative opinion on cultural tourism investment in the case of accumulation of economic benefits in the hands of few residents (meaning those who have to invest). As most residents agree that the benefits will outweigh the impacts, they are more in favor of investment.
The willingness of paying higher taxes to create more jobs seems to positively influence their view of investment in this sector. As long as residents agree that tourism businesses should be owned by locals, hire locals and buy products and services from the locals, most agree on investment in cultural tourism.
In general, residents tend to support tourism largely as a strategy for community development. Based on the residents’ views of the regional city of Trikala it was found that they give great importance to local economic development through the exploitation of its resources, with a focus on holding youth, employment of the local labor force with ultimate aim the sustainable local development. In conclusion, in an integrated management approach of cultural heritage and cultural tourism, it is necessary to incorporate the views and attitudes of local society (economic and social needs) for the sustainability of such an investment.
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