Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management


Norman, William C

Committee Member

Becker , Robert H

Committee Member

Oh , Chi-Ok

Committee Member

Robinson , Kenneth L


Research has suggested that visiting a community can result in an inclination (Cuba, 1989) or likelihood of moving there (McHugh, 1990). One reason that may contribute to the decision to move is tourism experiences provide an opportunity for visitors to compare the destination to their current community and determine if voids that exist would be filled should they relocate (Haug, Dann, & Mehmetoglu, 2007). However, should tourists decide to relocate, research is needed that examines how tourists transition to being a resident (Oigenblick & Kirschenbaum, 2002) and policy implications of residential growth. The purpose of this exploratory study was twofold. First, this study examined what trip characteristics (i.e., number of trip, season of trip, purpose of trip, type of trip, relocation related trips, and business opportunity trips) contributed to the decision to move to a community in which respondents had previously been visitors. The second purpose of this study was to examine if the number of times visited and self assessment of the decision to move to one's current community influenced in-migrants' community participation, social interaction, sense of community, and overall community satisfaction.
Results suggested that leisure trips and general vacations contribute to the decision to relocate. In addition, visiting to look for a community to permanently relocate further confirmed the decision to move. The experience as a tourist prior to moving was positively related to level of community participation, social interaction with friends and neighbors, sense of community, and overall community satisfaction. However, this tourism and migration process presents potential challenges for growing communities. For example, communities who convert tourists to residents may require additional infrastructure, which is typically not covered by the increased property tax that comes with residential growth (Ulbrich & London, 2008).

Included in

Kinesiology Commons