JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2018, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (9): 1642-1656.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20170788

• Resource Evaluation • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Influence of Tourism Experience on Environmental Attitude and Behavior: A Longitudinal Tracking Study

HONG Xue-ting1, ZHANG Hong-mei2, ZHANG Ye-chen1   

  1. 1. Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241003, China;
    2. Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China
  • Received:2017-08-14 Revised:2018-01-18 Online:2018-09-20 Published:2018-09-20
  • Supported by:
    ; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41371161.

Abstract: Longitudinal research on the influence of tourism experience on environmental attitude and behavior is sparse in China. This study fills this gap by comparing the environmental attitude and environmentally responsible behavior of the same sample at three different time points, namely pre-visit, post-visit and three months after visit. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effects of natural-based tourism experience on visitors’ environmental attitudes and behaviors. Huangshan Scenic Area, which provided a typical natural based tourism, was chosen as a case destination. Paired-sample t test was used to analyze the change of attitude and behavior. The results indicate that there is little change in environmental attitudes. Scores on the environmental attitudes of post-visit and follow-up-visit samples increaesed with no significance, but the general and site-specific environmentally responsible behaviors change positively and significantly. For the short-term impact, the paired-sample t test of pre-visit and post-visit of site-specific environmentally responsible behaviors indicated that these increase were significant, education (P<0.001), physical (P<0.001) and legal action (P=0.012) in site-specific environmentally responsible behaviors were significantly improved; the paired-sample t test of pre-visit and post-visit of general environmentally responsible behaviors indicated that these increase were significant, education (P=0.001), consumption (P<0.001), persuasion (P=0.018), physical (P=0.003) and legal action (P=0.010) in general environmentally responsible behaviors were significantly improved. For the long-term impact, the paired-sample t test of pre-visit and follow-up-visit of general environmentally responsible behaviors indicated that some of these increase were significant, consumption (P=0.020), physical (P=0.004) and legal action (P=0.022) in general environmentally responsible behaviors were significantly improved; the paired-sample t test of pre-visit and follow-up-visit survey of site-specific environmentally responsible behaviors indicated that these increase were significant, education (P<0.001), consumption (P=0.002), physical action (P<0.001) in site-specific environmentally responsible behaviors were significantly improved. We conclude that short-term effects of tourism experience were greater than the long-term effects. Change of environmentally responsible behaviors is mainly caused by the cognitive and emotional stimulations at the destination, including anticipated guilt, collective pride, environmental interpretation, environmental knowledge, self-efficacy, ecological responsibility, and adverse consequence, etc. The emotions aroused by the natural experience can promote the environmentally responsible behavior. Some visitors conveyed a sense of anticipated guilt when they saw the hard work of cleaners way up the mountain, which led them to feel anticipated guilt when they dropped litter carelessly. Some visitors indicated that enjoy the beautiful natural sceneries had caused them to feel pride and take more environmentally responsible behaviors. Recommendations are given to improve the environmental attitudes and behaviors of visitors, such as providing high-level environmental related interpretation services, cultivating the emotional factors that promote the environmentally responsible behaviors, strengthening the management of environmental protection, enhancing environmental education and encouraging public supervision and participation. Finally, this study discussed the limitation of this study.

Key words: environmental attitude, environmentally responsible behavior, Huangshan Scenic Area, natural-based tourism, tourism experience

CLC Number: 

  • F590