Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Mary Emery


Many researchers have explored the perceptions and impacts of tourism development. However, no studies have included the Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Nevis where tourism has replaced agriculture as the primary driver of the islands’ economies. Furthermore, recent studies have not explored demographic factors that determine people’s perceptions of the impacts of tourism development in these islands. The purpose of this study was to investigate if citizens’ perceptions of the economic, socio-cultural, environmental and community impacts of tourism development vary by demographic factors such as age, education, gender and geographical location in relation to tourist areas. Nineteen research hypotheses were proposed: sixteen relating to the tourism impacts, two relating to social exchange theory and one relating to distributive justice theory. In order to explore the research question and test the hypotheses, a 108 item questionnaire was administered to citizens in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis located in the Caribbean (N = 452). Analyses were performed using Bivariate Correlations, One-way ANOVA and Independent-Samples t-Test. Findings from the bivariate analyses showed that there is a moderate relationship between the economic, sociocultural, environmental and community impact indexes. The indexes measuring social exchange theory and distributive justice also showed moderate relationships with the work in the tourist industry (independent) variable. Results from several one-way ANOVA and independent samples t-Test showed that while most citizens’ were not concerned with the impacts of tourism, they were concerned with the personal, economic and fairness of rewards/ benefits associated with tourism industry.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sustainable tourism -- Saint Kitts and Nevis -- Public opinion.
Tourism -- Saint Kitts and Nevis -- Public opinion.
Economic development -- Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Tourism -- Government policy -- Saint Kitts and Nevis.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 228 -242)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University

Included in

Tourism Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright