Cognitive maps of nature-based tourists

Document Type


Publication details

Young, M 1999, 'Cognitive maps of nature-based tourists', Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 817-839.

Published version available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0160-7383(99)00023-7

Peer Reviewed



To investigate tourists' spatial conceptions of large-scale natural environments, this study explored sketch-maps drawn by a sample of 403 nature-based tourists visiting the Daintree and Cape Tribulation area, Australia. Multivariate comparisons of the style and content of sketch-maps revealed that visitors possessed a relatively limited spatial knowledge of the area, and that this knowledge varied according to the mode of travel, previous visitation, length of stay in the area, and the origin, age and gender of visitors. While the factors influencing environmental learning were identified, questions were raised concerning the salience of spatial knowledge in the overall experience of unfamiliar natural settings.

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