Understanding Effects of Tourism on Residents: A Contingent Subjective Well-Being Approach

Kreg Lindberg, Ian E. Munanura, Chad Kooistra, Mark D. Needham, Ladan Ghahramani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Research regarding tourism’s effect on the subjective well-being (SWB) of destination residents has provided important insight, but it generally has relied on indirect analyses and diverse measures. This study used livability theory and a novel contingent SWB method in which respondents directly reported anticipated SWB effects. This method is exploratory, but it provides greater confidence in causal relationships. Results from a general population survey in Oregon (USA) suggested the method functioned as intended. County-level population growth and visitor intensity predicted perceived current impacts of tourism. In turn, perceived impacts predicted change in SWB contingent on a vignette reflecting a 20% increase in tourists. Across all individuals and counties, average SWB changes were negative for the environment domain and positive for other domains. Practical implications are discussed, with the most positive SWB effects from tourism development expected to occur in counties with low visitor intensity, especially those with low population growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-361
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • community impact
  • contingent subjective well-being
  • livability theory
  • population growth
  • resident attitudes


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