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This study aims to explore the support and attitudes of the local community together with the benefits of living in the vicinity of George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. George Town is one of the popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia.Design/methodology/approachA total of 319 respondents residing in the gazetted area of George Town World Heritage Sites were interviewed. The covariance-based structural equation modelling (CB-SEM) analysis was conducted to test the study’s hypotheses.FindingsThe community's attitudes and personal benefits were identified to strongly influence community’s support towards the conservation and development of the World Heritage Sites in George Town. While a small number of community members acknowledged the significant opportunities through tourism, majority of them expected economic and non-economic benefits from the development of World Heritage Sites.Practical implicationsThe findings from this study are expected to contribute to the ongoing debate on the perceived effects, benefits and future support of the World Heritage Sites from the local community's perspectives.Social implicationsUnderstanding the behaviour of the local community to create successful tourism planning, especially in delicate heritage destinations.Originality/valueThis study enriches the scarce empirical research study on community’s behaviour living in the vicinity of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, especially in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) region.
Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 18, 2021
Keywords: Support; Attitude; Benefit; Local community; UNESCO World Heritage Site
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