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Visitors\u27 memories of wildlife tourism: Implications for the design of powerful interpretive experiences

By Roy Ballantyne, Jan Packer and Lucy A. Sutherland

Abstract

One of the aims of wildlife tourism is to educate visitors about the threats facing wildlife in general, and the actions needed to protect the environment and maintain biodiversity. To identify effective strategies to achieve this aim, this paper examines participants\u27 memories of their wildlife tourism experiences and explores processes through which such experiences can lead to long-term changes in conservation behaviour. Findings are based on 240 visitors\u27 extended open-ended responses to a follow-up web survey administered approximately four months after a visit to one of four marine-based wildlife tourism venues in Southeast Queensland. Qualitative analysis revealed four levels of visitor response to the experience, implying a process involving what visitors actually saw and heard (sensory impressions), what they felt (emotional affinity), thought (reflective response), and finally what they did about it (behavioural response). Recommendations are provided for ways tourism managers and wildlife interpreters can maintain and strengthen these dimensions of memorable experiences in order to enhance visitor satisfaction and encourage visitors\u27 long-term adoption of environmentally sustainable practices. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Topics: Emotion, Environmental behaviour, Environmental interpretation, Environmental behaviour, Memories, Tourist behaviour, Visitor experiences, Wildlife tourism, 1408 Strategy and Management, 1409 Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management, 3303 Development, 3313 Transportation
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.tourman.2010.06.012
OAI identifier: oai:espace.library.uq.edu.au:UQ:224817

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