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Title:Co-producing the nature-based adventure tourism experience: tourist, environment and management contributions
Author(s):Yu, Xiaojuan
Director of Research:Schwartz, Zvi
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Morris, Lynn B.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Schwartz, Zvi; Stewart, William P.; Zerai, Assata
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport, and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Adventure tourism experience
Basic Psychological Needs
Abstract:This dissertation research explored factors and processes that influence tourists’ experience and satisfaction, guided by the view that the tourist experience and satisfaction is co-produced by tourist, environment, and management. A review of the satisfaction research in marketing, tourism, and recreation found that the existing satisfaction models were based on the performance of product or service or destination attributes, which are managerial or environmental determinants. This research proposed and empirically tested three models of satisfaction and examined the role of the tourist in the context of nature-based adventure tourism and recreation. First, the Norm Disturbance Model proposed that visitors compare their perceptions of backcountry conditions to their backcountry recreation norms. The comparison results in a sense of disturbance, which in turn influences satisfaction. This model synthesized research on the influences of different backcountry conditions that have been separately addressed in the outdoor recreation literature, including environmental impacts, social encounters (crowding), and diverse activities. Further, tourist trip motives were modeled as moderators of the impact of these conditions on tourist experience. Second, the Basic Psychological Needs Expression Model proposed that tourist trip motives influence satisfaction depending on whether the motives express the basic psychological needs specified in Self-Determination Theory. This model added to the literature on tourist motivation and satisfaction by providing a theoretical explanation for their relationship. Third, the Risk-Competence Balance Model proposed that how tourists combine their risk taking tendency and their competence, (1) at the motivational level, and (2) as objectively assessed, influence the attainment of optimal experience and then satisfaction. These three models were empirically tested in one multiple regression model using a dataset from the Grand Canyon Backcountry Visitor Study (N = 1021) and were generally supported by the results. The research thus broadened the theoretical understanding of the factors and processes that influence tourist experience and satisfaction, and clarified the role of the tourist therein. The practical implications are that satisfactory experience may be co-produced by tourists and tourism managers (1) by eliminating disturbances in the tourism environment, (2) by encouraging tourist motives that express the basic psychological needs, and (3) by optimally combining situational risks and tourist competence.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Xiaojuan Yu
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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