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"Everybody's happy" - Place attachment and visitors to the Ningaloo Reef, north-western Australia

Tonge, J., Moore, S.A., Beckley, L. and Ryan, M. (2010) "Everybody's happy" - Place attachment and visitors to the Ningaloo Reef, north-western Australia. In: 5th International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitor Flows in Recreational and Protected Areas (MMV 2010), 30 May - 3 June, Wageningen, The Netherlands pp. 149-150.

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As pressure on marine protected areas from recreational and tourism use continues to increase, so too does the importance of planning for and managing these experiences. Such experiences are a product of both the social and environmental values of the protected areas and the interaction of these values with visitor activities. Most experiential research has focused on terrestrial and riparian environments with little work undertaken in marine settings (Shafer & Inglis, 2000). This study explored the place attachment expressed by visitors camping adjacent to and recreating in a marine setting, Ningaloo Marine Park.

The Ningaloo Marine Park, abutting the north-western coastline of Australia, centres on a 300 km long fringing coral reef. A recent study by Beckley et al. (2008) examined human usage patterns of the Ningaloo Marine Park and identified that 55% of surveyed visitors had visited on a previous occasion and of this group, 44% always stayed at the same location. These results suggest that place attachment may have a strong influence on how visitors behave, what their expectations are and how they might respond to policy and management changes. Place attachment is the overarching concept used to describe an emotional or affective bond between a person and a place (Williams et. al. 1992).

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Alterra, Wageningen University and Research centre
Notes: In: Goossen, M., Elands, B., Marwijk, R. van (eds.). 2010. Recreation, tourism and nature in a changing world. Proceedings of the fifth international conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitor flows in recreational and protected areas, May 30–June 3, 2010, Wageningen, The Netherlands
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