Ecotourism service preference and management in Hong Kong

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35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The embryonic development of ecotourism demands proper planning and management to avoid common pitfalls. The recent ecotourism initiative in Hong Kong calls for understanding of the resource base and visitor attitude and expectation. Preferences for ecotourism services were evaluated by 456 questionnaire surveys at four remote ecotourism hot spots. In choosing ecotourism products, respondents preferred good-quality information and tour guides and low-impact activities. Destination selection was influenced by high ecological value and good site management; site facilities and accessibility were accorded less importance. Education and income correlated positively with preference for good-quality guides. Females preferred low-impact activities more than males. Young ecotourists expressed stronger preference for low-impact activities and sites of high ecological value. Elderly respondents were more concerned about good facilities and accessibility. The results were compared and contrasted with cognate overseas studies. A typology of ecotourists classified them into knowledge seeker, leisure traveller and nature lover. A survey of local ecotourism policies and operations highlighted room for improvement. The findings could help to steer the incipient ecotourism development on a sustainable, environmentally friendly and user-relevant track. The urge to increase local and overseas ecotourist patronage could be accompanied by optimising resource usage, minimising deleterious impacts and raising the quality of ecotourists, guides and operators. Relevant policies and strategies could be moulded to match genuine ecotourists preferences and fit local natural and socioeconomic conditions. Copyright © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-194
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology
Volume20
Issue number2
Early online date11 Mar 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Citation

Cheung, L. T. O. & Jim, C. Y. (2013). Ecotourism service preference and management in Hong Kong (SCI). International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 20(2), 182-194. doi: 10.1080/13504509.2013.775192

Keywords

  • Ecotourist preference
  • Ecotourism service
  • Ecotourism product
  • Ecotourism destination
  • Ecotourism development
  • Ecotourist typology