Tourism and travel has become one of the most popular activities in Korea in the last twenty years. Demands for enjoying a vacation have increased as a result of rising income levels, more leisure time, and increased private ownership of cars. With the increase of tourists in various destinations, social impacts of tourism have occurred. To achieve successful tourism development, residents' attitude should be identified. This thesis investigates residents' attitudes towards the social impacts of tourism.
In 2001, a questionnaire was used to survey residents' attitude towards these social impacts. To facilitate completion of the survey questionnaire, it was translated into Korean. The purpose of this was to obtain the more accurate perception of social impacts.
There were three major outcomes. Firstly, the relationship between sociodemographic characteristics and social impacts was examined and results identified which sociodemographic characteristics were significant.
Secondly, through cluster and factor analysis, various issues were identified and these analyses showed residents' attitudes towards social impacts of tourism. Thirdly, the parameters that play a significant role in residents' perception were examined. The most significant factor obtained from this study was the length of residency.
Several theories were considered to explain social impacts. Social exchange theory could explain residents' attitude towards social impacts but this theory was not enough to explain all the results. Thus, carrying capacity was considered the most suitable theory to investigate the relationship between visitor and resources. From the conclusion and discussion social carrying capacity proposes more opportunities for this further study.
Key words: social impacts, social carrying capacity, Korean tourism, Kangnung.