SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AND UNESCO STATUS BENEFITS: PERCEPTIONS OF RESIDENTS OF OHRID
The study analyses and discusses differences of residents’ perceptions of Ohrid (North Macedonia) when investigating personal attributes like age, category of employment and tourism dependence, in two directions: (1) Socio-cultural, natural and economic sustainability dimensions of tourism; and (2) Benefits that world heritage status brings, as prestige, environmental protection, and economic benefits. The research is based on face-to-face surveys conducted among 630 locals during January 2020. Cross tabulations were calculated at a level 0.1%. It was found a very slight difference in age and category concerning the socio-cultural aspect of sustainability. Age strongly matters when creating residents’ perception on the natural aspect of sustainability, while tourism dependence matters when perceiving economic aspect of tourism sustainability. Along, the study found no difference in residents’ perception on the positive effects of UNESCO designation. The findings have practical significance indicating many suggestions valuable when creating new strategic approaches for boosting local tourism development.
Key Words: Sustainable tourism, perception, UNESCO, Ohrid.
JEL classification: L83, Z32, Z38