Research on Place Involvement in Wildlife Tourism: A Case Study of Dolphin Discovery Center in Bunbury, Australia

CONG Li1,†, WU Bihu2, ZHANG Yujun1, Daivd Newsome3

ACTA Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Pekinensis - - Contents - CONG Li, WU Bihu, ZHANG Yujun, et al

1. Tourism Management Department, Landscape School, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083; 2. International Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research, School of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871; 3. Environment and Conservation, Murdoch University, Perth 6831; † E-mail: congli1980@163.com

Abstract Involvement is one of the important dimensions to understand tourists’ purchase decisions; hence the research on place involvement will help to understand the rule of the tourist behavior and revisit characteristics. This research aimed to analyze the place involvement of tourists in Dolphin Discovery Center (DDC) Bunbury, West Australia. K-means clustering analysis method, variance analysis and Sheffe post-test were combined to examine the extent of place involvement for DDC and demographic differences. The main conclusions were as following: based on different place involvement degree, wildlife tourists were divided into deep place involvement, medium place involvement, and light place involvement; tourist involvement in the wildlife tourism place was deep for the overall sample; demographic characteristics, age and education degree had significant differences (p≤ 0.05), while gender, income and family had no significant difference; stay time, consumption in site, information sources and satisfaction had significant difference in place involvement (p ≤ 0.05). Additionally, the conclusions from this research can provide guidance and applicance to wildlife conservation, destination management and marketing. Key words wildlife tourism; non-consumptive; place involvement; Australia; dolphin

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