The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of golf tourism in contributing to the overall sustainability of the destination community of St Andrews, Scotland.
It uses a primarily qualitative assessment of impacts supported by archive material from local sources including the local media.
Golf tourism in the town of St Andrews has a long history and has been integrated into the development of the town for many centuries. This has meant that there has been developed a positive relationship between golf and its organisation and the community, and there is widespread support for golf tourism and acknowledgement of the importance of this activity for the well-being of the town. There is acceptance that residents benefit in many ways from the presence of golf tourism in the town.
No direct quantitative assessments were made, but previous surveys of the impact of golf tourism on the town are used in drawing the conclusions. Extensive literary research was conducted on attitudes and perceptions of community residents to golf tourism.
It is clear that the concept of sustainable development is context specific in terms of its validity and effectiveness, and it should be examined in terms of local conditions and arrangements.
In this case, an activity that has taken place in the community for 500 years is widely accepted and improved through tourism development.
While case studies are not always of benefit and often reflect only a single viewpoint at one time, this paper shows that implications can be drawn from case studies that reflect situations that exist in other destinations.
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