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Ecotourists have become popular subjects for research. However, a lack of agreement on the definition of ecotourists continues to challenge progress in research on this group. Different authors frequently use different criteria, often mixing both supply-side and demand-side concepts. This study examines the impact of two operational definitions, one using a mix of supply and demand variables, the other using an approach where tourists self-define their identity. These two approaches are tested with the visitors to Taroko National Park in Taiwan. Some significant differences in the profiles of the two groups are observed; the study concludes that any definition of ecotourism should include reference to motivations, activities, benefits sought, and measures of environmental attitudes.

Keywords: Ecotourists; National Park; Nature tourism; Taiwan; Tourist profiles

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/1083542041437585

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Geography, University of Waterloo, Canada 2: †Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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