Ecotourism visitor experiences in Aotearoa/New Zealand: challenging the environmental values of visitors in pursuit of pro-environmental behaviour
Higham, James E S; Carr, Anna M
This paper reports on a research project that examined ecotourism visitor experiences in Aotearoa/New Zealand and whether or not those experiences challenged visitors to consider environmental issues. Twelve study sites in three nationwide geographical clusters were drawn from a comprehensive database of 479 eco/nature tourism operations based on each operation fulfilling 14 selection criteria. The operations offer maximum variation in the ecotourism experiences that they provide. The qualitative research methods implemented at these sites are described. Observational and interview data were employed to critically assess the visitor experiences reported at the study sites. Five important aspects of the visitor experience emerged from data analysis. These were considered to be effective in drawing visitor attention to environmental issues of relevance. The results indicate that ecotourism visitor experiences may be an effective medium via which environmental values may be influenced.
Research Type: Journal Article
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