Media in the Previsit Stage of the Tourist Experience: Port Campbell National Park
In the past 50 years there has been an enormous expansion in the number and types of protectedarea users. This has increased physical pressures on protected areas, and created perceptual impacts for visitors. Importantly, the role of the media in promoting and providing expectations can also be used as a tool to manage potential impacts. Within this context, research was undertaken at Port Campbell National Park (PCNP), Victoria, Australia. Implementing this study not only created awareness of the varied information sources visitor decisions were based on, but also provided valuable insights into the role of the media in the management of expectations. Results indicated that users obtain information from four sources, creating a complex user image and management scenario. An analysis of visitor expectations of the facilities and services at PCNP indicated that induced image sources created inflated expectations of functional attributes. Practical implications are provided for protected area management agencies on the importance of using the media as a tool in the previsit experience, to enhance overall satisfaction. Importantly, creating presite images of functional attributes of parks, in induced information sources, may have important positive implications for overall user satisfaction.
Keywords: EXPECTATIONS; IMAGE; MEDIA; PROTECTED AREAS; SATISFACTION
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2009
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