Measuring Visitor Satisfaction with Western Australia's Conservation Estate
AbstractProtected natural areas such as national parks (NP's), marine reserves, forests and other conservation estates are developing into an increasingly important tourism resource. Forecasted growth in visitor numbers suggests that it is imperative that these areas receive the correct balance of conservation and tourism management attention. In addition to their traditional stronghold of conservation, agencies mandated to care for these estates have similarly become involved in the management of visitors as well as the environment. Consequently, the measurement and management of visitor satisfaction has become a prerequisite for these agencies. While many have a history of surveying visitors, little empirical research into "visitor satisfaction" in a natural environment context has been conducted. This paper reports on a two-year process of survey development and implementation across three survey periods. Structural modeling is used to test confirmatory and path models. Consistent structures and significant indicators of "value for money" and "overall satisfaction" are identified.
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