Exploratory study of youth perceptions of tourism in selected schools in Liberia, Costa Rica

Anglin, Ashley Elizabeth
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2012]
The purpose of this qualitative photo elicitation study was to explore and describe the perceptions of tourism of youth in Liberia, Costa Rica in order to better understand the development of attitudes toward tourism within this cultural context and to situate these perceptions within developmental theory by including two distinct age groups (10-11 and 15-16). The results of this study indicate that the youth in this sample are able to perceive both positive and negative aspects and impacts of tourism, and explain how these impacts relate to their lives, their community, and their country. The participant-generated topics included environmental, economic, cultural, and historical impacts, the creation of infrastructure to support tourism, injustice resulting from tourism, the role of the government, and the youth's perceptions of tourists and their community. In addition, the results provided a unique opportunity to explore developmental differences, including variation in perspective-taking, abstract thinking, metacognition and critical thinking, all which suggested an increase in these abilities with age. Their ability to generate discussion and take pictures related to this topic-along with their reports that the activities were enjoyable and engaging-also imply that tourism is an important and salient topic for youth in this context and that these participants are actively forming opinions about the role tourism plays in their community.
M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
youth tourism, Costa Rica
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