This paper examines the 'Respect for History' project on Turkey's Gallipoli Peninsula sponsored by a Turkish oil company, OPET. The project sought to enhance and protect the cultural and historical experiences of tourists visiting Gallipoli, and to bring direct and indirect benefits to local communities through enhancing tourism-related business opportunities and improving community infrastructure. This research investigates the project's impact on residents’ perceived social and economic wellbeing, using a quality of life framework, and also ascertains residents’ views of the sponsoring firm. The context illustrates key differences between pure philanthropy and strategic philanthropy; the latter defined as doing good by purposefully achieving corporate and civic benefits. The role of strategic philanthropy as a sustainable tourism development tool, and its impact on tourism governance, are considered. Data were collected from 674 residents on the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula in areas impacted by OPET's investment program. The results, using structural equation modelling (SEM), identify that respondents generally believe that both their economic and social quality of life have improved. This, in turn, has positively influenced respondents’ views of the sponsoring organization. The concept of strategic philanthropy appears valuable as a private sector, non-tourism, sustainable tourism development tool in some circumstances.
Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Vol. 21, no. 3 (2013), pp. 376-395
Taylor and Francis
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