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Tourism and recreation in natural environments : an empirical analysis of visitor satisfaction
conference contributionposted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Hall, D Zanon, Robin Shaw
A trend in tourism patterns is the desire by tourists to spend more time enjoying unspoilt, natural environments. Leisure experiences in parks can provide many benefits which include promoting positive emotional, intellectual and social experiences which result in high levels of wellness in communities with long-term benefits. However, the resultant growing number of national park visitors has created a need for effective and efficient decision suppOli tools to assist park managers to administer resources, assess planning decisions, cater for an increased range of users, avoid user conflicts and minimise negative impacts on the environment. The aim of this paper is to determine the extent to which manageable variables predict park visitor satisfaction, and in so doing develop a better understanding of park visitors and their leisure experiences in parks. This study is based on a sample of 11,387 face to face interviews at 34 major parks in Victoria, Australia. The study uses cluster analysis, factor analysis and structural equation modelling to develop a segmentation approach to model and analyse visitor satisfaction. Seven well differentiated segments have been developed; constructs relating to park visitation have also been produced. The study highlights that different combinations of park facilities and resources are important in determining the satisfaction of park visitors from different segments.