Title

Visitors' attitudes towards responsible fossil collecting behaviour: a structural attitude-based segmentation approach

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Kim, AK & Weiler, B 2013, 'Visitors' attitudes towards responsible fossil collecting behaviour: a structural attitude-based segmentation approach', Tourism Management, vol. 36, pp. 602-612.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2012.08.005

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine visitors' attitudes towards an environmentally-responsible tourist behaviour – fossil collecting – and towards the visitor management strategies for managing this behaviour at an environmentally sensitive tourism destination. In particular, a market segmentation approach based on environmental attitudes was applied to identify distinct types of tourist groups and understand differences between segments in terms of demographic, attitudinal and behavioural characteristics. Data from 453 visitors were collected from the Charmouth coastal area, located in the South West of England, which is popular for fossil collection. The results of the research highlight that such nature-based areas tend to attract tourists who have favourable environmental attitudes and support management approaches related to responsible fossil collection. However, further analysis reveals that two distinct types of environmental attitude-based market segments exist that are significantly different in terms of gender, age and usage patterns of on-site interpretation. This study suggests that targeting the two segments (namely, the “high environmental attitude” versus “low environmental attitude” groups) with different on-site communication strategies is not only possible, but may prove to be a more efficient and effective approach to visitor and site management.