The research involved a comparison of two case studies dealing with the perceptions of the local population to tourism. The effects and the control of tourism development were analyzed, as well as the availability of information on sustainable tourism and impact on the community in two national parks (NPs) in Serbia. The survey method was applied on a sample of 227 (NP Đerdap) and 210 (NP Tara) respondents. The survey results identified the strong positive perception of the presence of tourists among the two categories of respondents and also certain differences regarding economic benefits of tourism. Research also recognized a poor impact of tourism on the local community in terms of their knowledge and personal involvement. Education and employment in tourism industry were found to be strong factors affecting the residents’ perceptions. Some independent variables significantly predicted the level of local population’s support for tourism in both national parks (tourism impact on job creation, tourism impact on fostering a local culture, etc.). This comparative analysis provides inputs for directing future tourism programmes and devising a development policies adjusted to the needs of the local community.
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