Modeling the Relationship between Sense of Place, Social Capital and Tourism Support

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Tourism Management, Faculty of Management & Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i, University, Tehran, Iran


The success of tourism development heavily depends on residents’ support. Broader literature suggests sense of place and social capital are important precedents of residents’ attitudes and behavior. However, limited attention has been paid to this topic in tourism, especially in Iran. Therefore, the aim of this research is to examine the relationship between sense of place, social capital and residents’ attitudes toward tourism support. Data were collected from residents in the historic city of Shiraz, one of the main tourist destinations in Iran. A survey method based on a structured questionnaire was applied. Data analysis was conducted using a Structural Equation Modelling two-step approach. Results from 386 questionnaires indicated a positive significant relationship between sense of place and social capital, and sense of place and tourism support. However, social capital did not mediate the relationship between sense of place and tourism support. The research findings suggest that it is important for urban planners to take measures to maintain and improve the residents’ place sense in order to gain their support for tourism. Further study is required to investigate the effect of social capital on residents’ attitude towards support for tourism development.


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