Postprint of: Curtis, J, Weiler, B & Ham, S 2010, 'Identifying beliefs underlying visitor behaviour: A comparative elicitation study based on the theory of planned behaviour', Annals of Leisure Research, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 564-589.
The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/11745398.2010.9686865
Applying Ajzen's (1991) theory of planned behaviour to inform a persuasive communication intervention involves a number of phases of field research. While the initial belief elicitation phase is theoretically necessary to inform all subsequent phases, it is often undervalued due to its formative nature. To assess the importance of the elicitation phase, research was undertaken at two national parks to identify the beliefs underlying visitor use of alternative transportations systems (ATS) that have been introduced to reduce the pressures created by growing vehicle numbers. Results indicate that although visitors at the two parks share some beliefs, others are site‐specific. Persuasive communication aimed at encouraging visitor use of ATS at the two parks would therefore need to potentially target different beliefs. The research demonstrates that the elicitation phase was a critical first step in the context of this study, as beliefs cannot be intuited or assumed to be transferable among different populations and behavioural domains. The paper adds to a growing body of literature informing the use of theory‐driven approaches to influence the leisure behaviour of national park visitors.