Understanding perception of Chinese geopark visitors in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China

Rui Gloria GOU

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses

Abstract

Geoparks are setup to ensure the conservation and rational use of geological resources for scientific, educational and economical purposes. After the UNESCO Global Geopark Network has been establishment in 2004, the number of Geopark and its visitors have increased rapidly in China. The increasing visitorship has not only enhanced economic development in Chinese rural areas where geoparks are usually located, but also lead to degradation of geological resources and landscapes. This study investigated the driving factors of geologically responsible behaviour of geopark visitors in Chinese geopark. 897 valid questionnaire surveys were collected in geoparks in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China. The survey instrument gauged geologically responsible behaviour, environmentally responsible attitude, place attachment, visitor satisfaction, socio-economic information and willingness-to-pay. Results suggested that 1) Chinese Geopark visitors are characterized by a relatively young age, with higher education attainment and income, which is similar to the profiles of ecotourists, responsible tourists and wildlife watching enthusiasts; 2) significant inter-site differences were observed for geologically responsible behaviour, environmentally responsible attitude, and visitor satisfaction; 3) the average amount of Chinese geopark visitors’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) was US$6.41; 4) WTP amount was associated only with gender and occupation of geopark visitors; 5) people with better environmentally responsible attitude are more support environmentally responsible actions, including offering financial support for conservation; 6) place attachment, visitor satisfaction, and environmentally responsible attitude played an influential role to geologically responsible behavior. The results of this study contribute to help improve visitor management policies and strategies of geoparks in the region; and the profile of geopark visitors of the Greater China Region acts as a reference for tourism company to develop future geo-tourism products. In particular, on top of asking visitors the obey park rules, the provision of a more in-depth experience to visits can further enhance visitor’s geologically responsible behaviour indirectly. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
Supervisors/Advisors
  • FOK, Lincoln 霍年亨, Supervisor
  • CHEUNG, Ting On, Supervisor
  • LEE, Chi Kin, John 李子建, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Geopark conservation
  • Geologically responsible behavior
  • Environmentally responsible attitude
  • Place attachment
  • Visitor satisfaction
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2020.

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