Benefits that matter to managers: an exploratory study of three national park management agencies
Moyle, BD, Weiler, B & Moore, SA 2014, 'Benefits that matter to managers: an exploratory study of three national park management agencies', Managing Leisure, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 400-419.
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Understanding and conveying the benefits of providing visitor experiences in national parks is critical for their survival, but to date has received relatively little attention. This paper uses a series of semi-structured interviews and an online survey with senior/executive managers from three Australian parks agencies, as well as an analysis of corporate and strategic documents, to identify each agency's strategic focus with respect to benefits associated with the provision of visitor experiences. Results reveal 39 personal and community-wide benefits that mattered for managers across the three Australian parks agencies. Key benefits identified by senior/executive-level managers included accessing natural experiences, connecting with nature, and appreciating scenic beauty and the protection of biological diversity. These findings can help inform communication designed to reposition national parks, which is critical if agencies are to remain viable as providers of recreation and leisure experiences in the twenty-first century.