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Tourism impact on gender and minority equality: comparison of survey, census, and industry data

Abstract
Tourism is widely credited as an economic driver for communities, but the role of tourism industry in promoting social and cultural human development goals is less researched and frequently disputed. The majority of existing studies are following the coarse scale. The goal of this study is to investigate the relationship between the development of tourism sector and progress towards the UNWTO equality goals on a fine scale of one US state with the objective of comparing the available indicators of gender and minority equality on a county basis. The study combines the objective data from industry and the US census with survey data on local community perceptions on tourism industry. We found that overall the equality indicators follow the Kuznets type U-shaped model. This result is supported with the survey of public perceptions on tourism which suggests a positive outlook of the local communities on tourism industry effects on gender and race equality. This positive outlook is however not fully shared by women, Black minority, and the youngest population, suggesting a need for future studies those groups.
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