Host community perceptions of international permanent tourists: The case of Didim, Turkey

Waller, Imren orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5037-0590 and Sharpley, Richard orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2135-3206 (2018) Host community perceptions of international permanent tourists: The case of Didim, Turkey. In: The Routledge Handbook of Second Home Tourism and Mobilities. Routledge Handbooks . Routledge, New York, pp. 245-257. ISBN 978-1-138-67831-6(hbk)

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The phenomenon of northern Europeans retiring to southern European is not new, numerous communities of ‘permanent tourists’ having been established by those seeking a better climate or migrating for economic, health and other life-style factors. Consequently, such tourist-migration and its associated impacts on local society and culture in destination areas has long explored in the academic literature. Nevertheless, one country yet to benefit from academic scrutiny in this context is Turkey; despite there being more than 110,000 foreign-owned properties (35,249 British-owned) in Turkey, the issue is relatively untouched. Not only has second-home ownership in the country in general been overlooked, but little if any attention has been paid to interactions between permanent tourists and local host communities in particular. The purpose of this chapter is to address this significant gap in the literature. Drawing on research undertaken amongst stakeholders in the second-home property sector in Didim, Turkey, it explores local people’s perceptions of and responses to permanent tourists, focusing in particular on issues related to the extent of their integration and cultural exchange with the local community. A number of themes emerged from the research, not least transformations in the market for second homes reflecting over supply and diminishing international demand, suggesting more effective management of the sector is required. More specifically, the local community was found to hold generally positive perceptions of permanent tourists although the relationship between the two groups was revealed to be no less superficial than that between local people and ‘normal’ tourists. Significantly, however, local people’s views of permanent tourists were influenced by their political and religious beliefs whilst, overall, both practical (language) barriers and differing life-style expectations served to limit integration between the two communities.

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