Using Web and Mobile Technology to Motivate Pro-Environmental Action after a Nature-Based Tourism Experience

TitleUsing Web and Mobile Technology to Motivate Pro-Environmental Action after a Nature-Based Tourism Experience
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsWheaton M., Ardoin NM, Hunt C.A., Schuh JS, Kresse M., Menke C., Durham W.
Secondary TitleJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Abstract
Nature-based tourism provides an ideal context for motivating pro-environmental action,
as it draws travellers interested in the natural world and showcases unique, and often
threatened, environments. This study examines efforts to motivate environmentally related
behaviour in tourists’ everyday lives using a technology-based intervention following an
elephant seal viewing tour at California’s Ano Nuevo State Park. A total of 362 visitors
completed pre-tour and post-tour surveys, with 94 visitors completing a final survey three
months after the tour. We found that, although the intervention had little influence on
conservation action overall, it was effective for a social media-related action. Post-tour
conservation actions were significantly affected by emotional connection to wildlife during
the tour and repeat visitation to either the same or another state park. We found that
visitors’ connectedness to nature increased during the three-hour tour, but returned to previsit
levels three months later. Practical implications include that parks should encourage
repeat visits, suggest an assortment of other experiences that support connecting to nature,
and link their conservation messaging to visitors’ close, personal, and emotional
experiences with fauna. We suggest that one simple, yet effective, way to do this is
through maintaining the visitor-park experience through a social media community.
DOI10.1080109669582.2015.1081600

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