The Use of visitor management techniques to protect a fragile environment.

Kuo, I-L., 2003. The Use of visitor management techniques to protect a fragile environment. Doctorate Thesis (Doctorate). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

Tourism, as a human activity, is not likely to be managed effectively if there was a lack of management focus on the visitors. Visitor management plays a vital role in a tourism destination in terms of increasing visitors' experience and level of enjoyment, as well as modifying their on-site behaviour to be more appropriate. Through a combination of various techniques, visitors are provided with controlled access to experience the tourism resources. In so doing, visitors' understanding and appreciation of the features at a site may be increased through the use of interpretation, while restrictions, regulations and resource alteration methods are used to protect the resources from inappropriate visitor activity. Interpretation, restrictions, regulations and other management-related/administrative information need to be delivered to visitors. Furthermore, persuasive communication is effective to modify visitors' on-site behaviour. Regulations and restrictions are usually law-enforced. Because their persuasive function is of coercive type (the managing agencies have the ability to administer punishment if visitors fall to comply with the regulations), visitors' level of enjoyment and understanding of the features at a site is less likely to be increased. A softer style of persuasive communication with visitors (interpretation, marketing and visitor codes) is therefore necessary in order to advise visitors about the sensitivity of the resources and the appropriate behaviour to conduct during their visit. In other words, the hard and soft approaches of visitor management should be used interdependently. Hence, the understanding of (1) how people's intention to behave in a particular manner is formed, and (2) how to maximise the effectiveness of communication, is necessary in order to plan and implement successful visitor management. The visitor survey was carried out in the calendar year of 1999, and 1,053 visitors participated in the research.T he questionnaire-baseds urvey of visitors was conducted at several locations in the New Forest, and the number of surveys to be carried out was distributed throughout the year of 1999 based on the tourism seasonality of the New Forest. The research findings point out that imposing more regulations is not perceived necessary in the current visitor management in the New Forest. Instead, the sampled visitors would like to know more about the environmental aspects about the site, and the appropriate activities to participate in. Moreover, infori-nation provided through interpretive panels and bulletin boards is thought to be less than adequate by the visitors, and they think the signage in the site is not maintained to a high standard. Give the fact that signage is one of the favoured media, the quality and information contents of signage in the New Forest need to be improved. Moreover, with respect to the interpretation of the New Forest, visitors thought the information relating to the envirom-nental aspects of the site and the appropriate visitor activities to be carried out should be improved in terms of the quantity. The analysis shows that in general, visitors would be willing to alter their behaviour to be more appropriate if they were made aware of such interpretive information. In addition, the majority of the visitors, except for the New Forest District local residents, do not object to be charged for the use of tourism facilities such as car parks, providing the revenue is used for resource protection purpose. In other words, visitors value the significance of the New Forest in terms of being resource rich and being an important site that offers recreational opportunities to them. Thus, they expressed their willingness to contribute financially to help the management and protection of the site. The research findings are expected to provide organisations that are responsible for the management of tourism destinations with information relating to the planning and implementation of effective visitor management approaches, because successful visitor management is a step forward towards the long-ten-n sustainable tourism development.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctorate)
Additional Information:A thesis submitted in partial requirement of the requirements of Bournemouth University for the degree of Doctor of Philsophy. If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Subjects:Geography and Environmental Studies
Social Sciences > Tourism
Group:School of Tourism
ID Code:356
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:07 Nov 2006
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 14:34

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