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Visitor attitudes toward a modified natural attraction

Hughes, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-9810-1891 and Morrison-Saunders, A. (2003) Visitor attitudes toward a modified natural attraction. Society and Natural Resources, 16 (3). pp. 191-203.

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Ecotourism is commonly expected to take place in relatively isolated, undisturbed areas. This study examined visitor attitudes to a modified natural attraction, focusing on whether the site delivered benefits associated with traditional ecotourism. Visitors to the Tree Top Walk (TTW), a developed forest attraction in Western Australia, were surveyed immediately before and after experiencing the site. Visitors ranked a series of statements relating to potential benefits of a natural forest experience. Some key aspects of ecotourism were ranked highly after experiencing the site. Regular natural area visitors ranked spiritual meaning and rejuvenating well-being significantly higher than those who did not regularly visit natural areas. This indicated regular natural area visitors had a more complex level of interaction with the forest relative to their counterparts. The spiritual aspect ranking was significantly reduced after the site experience. Thus, while the TTW site offers some benefits of an ecotourism experience, higher order interactions were not fulfilled to the same extent.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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