Wayfinding Strategies and Tourist Anxiety in Unfamiliar Destinations

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Abstract:

This study explores the differences among tourists in their wayfinding performances, strategy preferences, and anxieties, and examines how individual tourist differences in the perceived wayfinding difficulties, strategy preferences, and anxieties affect wayfinding task performance in unfamiliar tourist destinations. The study participants were 540 outbound tourists traveling from Taiwan to Venice. The analysis revealed the following: (1) There was a higher level of anxiety in female tourists and a greater preference for the route wayfinding strategy. Male tourists reported a lower level of wayfinding anxiety and used orientation wayfinding more often than route strategy. (2) Study participants with independent overseas travel experience showed lower levels of wayfinding anxiety than did those without independent travel experience. (3) Participants’ level of anxiety is significantly positively correlated with their perceptions of wayfinding difficulties and the orientation strategy preference but significantly negatively correlated with the route strategy preference. Individual wayfinding strategy preference, perceived wayfinding difficulties, and wayfinding anxiety affect wayfinding performance, as have other studies.
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