A two-way causal chain between tourism development and quality of life in a small island destination: An empirical analysis

Jorge Ridderstaat
Robertico Croes, University of Central Florida
Peter Nijkamp


This study postulates that tourism development (TD) and residents' quality of life (QoL) may have an intrinsically reciprocal relationship. The possible connection between TD and QoL is investigated in the island of Aruba, with economic development as a mediating variable. This investigation contributes to the literature by emphasizing the active role of QoL in the relationship with TD through a subjective well-being approach, and by expanding our understanding of the development concept. The study also advances the scope of tourism theory by presenting new propositions. The methodology consists of applying exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses combined with structural equations modeling. The results suggest that TD has a direct and indirect impact on QoL, and that QoL has an indirect effect on TD, via economic development. These findings provide new insights on the dimensions that shape the link between TD and QoL.