Sandeep Walia, Pooja Choudhary & Parvinder Kour
Abstract: The present study aims to examine the moderating role of place attachment on the local community’s attitude towards tourism development in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is amongst India’s well-known national parks which offer tourism activities like trekking, camping, wildlife, adventure and cultural tours. Data was collected from the local community residents in the peripheries of the park with the help of a pre-structured questionnaire. It was hypothesised that both place identity and place dependence, would moderate the relationship between the local community’s attitude and the tourism development in GHNP. The results indicate that tourism’s positive contribution and negative contribution in GHNP have a significant effect on the community’s attitude towards tourism development. The results further indicate that both place identity and place dependence are statistically significant moderators, such that they affect the relationship between tourism contribution and community attitude towards tourism development. Practical and theoretical implications are also discussed and the study hopes to shed light in understanding the factors behind the change in the local community attitude towards tourism development in the region.
Keywords: Community attitude, national park, tourism development, place attachment