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Re-conceptualizing the Social Carrying Capacity of Tourism Destinations to be More Inclusive to Residents of the Community

Abstract
This research re-conceptualizes Social Carrying Capacity (SCC) to more accurately consider the impact of crowding on residents as tourism development in a community increases. Recently, more researchers have been adapting SCC, which was initially adopted to tourism to study tourists, to study residents. However, these have largely been quantitative studies that assume crowding will have a similar impact on residents as it does on tourists or studies that are not critical of the traditional operationalization of SCC. Four focus groups were conducted across three sites with varying levels of tourism development to assess residents' perceptions of the impacts of tourism development. Constant comparison analysis found that residents experience crowding in many different ways and experiences other impacts beyond crowding as development levels change. This qualitative exploration can help validate and strengthen quantitative operationalizations.
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