Tourism as an Interpretive and Mediating Influence: A Review of the Authority of Guidebooks in Protected Areas

Publisher:
Cognizant Communitcation Corporation
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Tourism Analysis, 2009, 14 (5), pp. 701 - 716
Issue Date:
2009-01
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This review sees to present the outcomes of a study which examined the potential effectiveness of guidebooks as a form of interpretation in reducing environmental impacts in a national park. It provides a review based on information gained from interviews with twenty nine trekkers undertaking the Overland Track in Tasmania, Australia. Results from the interviews where correlated with the literature and indicate that trekkers are more likely to use guidebooks at the planning stage of a trek in order to make decisions about what area to visit, what equipment to take, transport and accommodation. The guidebooks used by trekkers in this inquiry were found to have only a small amount of information on minimal impact messages and such messages were found to be poorly structured. As a result guidebooks were found to have little influence in mediating responsible environmental behaviour in protected areas. The study recommends that well structured minimal impact messages be incorporated into guidebooks using the Elaboration Likelihood Model of attitude change and persuasion to direct the process.
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