Creating a scale for assessing socially sustainable tourism

Hanqin Qiu, Daisy X.F. Fan, Sze Ming Tse, Brian Edward Melville King

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


As destinations absorb ever increasing number of visitors, destination managers become progressively more concerned about the longer term viability of tourism from a resident's perspective. However, few studies have examined the application of real-time social sustainability within tourism, particularly how to measure impacts on social sustainability. This study outlines the development of a valid and reliable scale–the Scale of Social Sustainability (SSS)–for tourism that provides an assessment of social sustainability in destination settings. A 10-step procedure was developed drawing upon the related literature. A telephone poll-based survey generated 1839 valid responses from Hong Kong residents. Hong Kong's growing popularity as a destination provides a rich array of host–guest conflict situations. Dimensionality was identified using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Construct validity, reliability, and stability were assessed, and found good, showing that the scale could be used by other destinations worldwide. The theoretical and managerial implications of the scale are discussed, including options for annual surveys giving policy-makers alerts before situations worsen. Detailed host resident viewpoints and the large scale of the survey can help local residents be informed about tourism development and better involved in the policy formation process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-78
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017


  • Hong Kong
  • host–guest conflict
  • Scale of Social Sustainability (SSS)
  • social acceptance
  • social tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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