The purpose of the research is to reveal locals’ perceptions and attitudes toward tourism development in thermal tourism destinations, as well as to determine whether these perceptions and attitudes differ depending on the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants. Accordingly, seven hypotheses were constructed. The population of the research is formed by residents living in thermal tourism cities in the North Aegean Region. The study was designed as quantitative, and the survey method was used as the data collection tool. Using the convenience sampling method, 827 questionnaires in total were collected from locals living in Afyonkarahisar, Denizli, and Kütahya between the 1st and 30th of December 2018. To analyze the data, confirmatory factor analysis, descriptive statistics, frequency analysis, reliability analysis, t-test, ANOVA, and correlation analysis were used. According to the results obtained, it was determined that more than half of the participants interacted with tourists often or very often. In the research, it was also found that there were partial significant differences in terms of gender, age, marital status, education, monthly income and duration of residence in the city and level of interaction with tourists.


local people, thermal tourism, destination, tourism perception, attitude



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