Environmental and community stability of a mountain destination: an analysis of residents' perception
This study aims to explore the use of the social-ecological system to consider tourism in mountain areas by examining residents' perceptions of tourism impacts and how determined local development tourism policies can affect natural, socio-economic and cultural aspects and provide sustainable development of mountain areas. Residents' perceptions of sustainable tourism development potential, perceived tourism impacts, analysis of community attachment (measured by the length of residence) and employment sector of stakeholder (economic dependence on the tourism industry or some other sectors) were involved in this study. Authors applied Q-methodology and the Principle Component Analysis (PCA) algorithm in a small mountain community of Kopaonik, the Republic of Serbia. The results revealed that residents' agreement/disagreement is connected with two aspects – ecosystem and property rights and that ecosystem can be significantly influenced by all three development policies. Findings suggest that development of future natural conservation plans and new cultural attractions can have positive effects on all parts of social-ecological system. Some practical implications of those findings for tourism planning and development are also discussed. Results show that Q-methodology is an adequate tool for the policy-making process and quantifying stakeholders' views for destinations that base their tourism development on natural resources and especially for those destinations with a tourism-dependent economy.