Consumer perceptions of tourism development in rural areas: a survey of Pocono Mountain residents

Open Access
Author:
Lansdowne, Chelsea Lynn
Area of Honors:
Marketing
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Margaret Grace Meloy, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jennifer Chang Coupland, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Marketing
  • Rural Tourism
  • Pocono Mountains
  • Resident Attitudes
Abstract:
In recent years, Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains’ tourism industry has been growing exponentially. In order to ensure sustainable long-term growth, tourism developers must align their business strategies with residents’ needs in mind. Using a case study approach and a survey conducted with Monroe County residents, this thesis explores Monroe County residents’ attitudes toward tourism development in the Pocono Mountains, specifically focusing on the new Kalahari Resort & Convention Center. Understanding residents’ attitudes will allow businesses in the area to market these attractions more effectively. The results of this thesis highlight which demographic groups are more pro-tourism and the factors developers must keep in mind when building in the Pocono Mountains. Based on the results, I provide some specific recommendations for Kalahari Resort to consider in strengthening their relationships with surrounding residents. Developing strategies that meet the needs of both residents and tourists can be a major win-win not only for Kalahari Resort, but also for the entire tourism industry of the region.