Tourism and Residents’ Quality of Life: A Critical Examination

Author: Ilisapeci Matatolu (Email:


This academic paper aims at increasing awareness and understanding of extant knowledge relating to empirical research undertaken on how residents’ quality of life (QOL) is impacted by tourism activities. The paper will deliberate related definitions, critically examine selected theoretical frameworks and main themes of extant empirical research in relation to tourism and residents’ QOL, with a focus on Pacific context. Strengths and weaknesses of selected theoretical frameworks discussed include social exchange theory, social representations theory and bottom up spillover theory. It also scrutinizes concepts related to how the actions of tourists and the activities of tourism businesses affect indigenous host communities in relation to impacts on residents’ QOL. It concludes with an overview of current limitations and future research opportunities encompassing tourism activities and residents’ QOL scholarship. Future research opportunities highlighted include an expansion of ontological and epistemological issues in relation to research related to resident atitudes to tourism and quality of life in indigenous communities.

Keywords: indigenous communities; quality of life; resident perceptions; tourism; tourism activities

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