Tourists' experiences of recreation spaces in Australia's Wet Tropics

Amy Osmond, Tingzhen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

People are increasingly engaging in recreational activities in nature. However, preferences for recreation opportunities are changing over time and among different people. Furthermore, different settings offer unique combinations of attributes; these attributes generate occasions for tourists to achieve particular recreation experiences, albeit tourists create experiences differently. The current study investigated tourists' travel reviews of recreation opportunities in Australia's Wet Tropics. Drawing on two land and activity categorization systems, the research explored tourists' reported experiences and interests across different natural environment leisure settings. The overall objective of the article was to explore the setting–experience relationship by identifying differences in tourists' reported experiences according to setting attributes and personal characteristics. Leximancer analysis of over 2,000 TripAdvisor reviews (posted 2010–2012) was conducted on 11 tourist attractions in far north Queensland. Overall, tourists describe their experiences of different Wet Tropics' leisure settings in a relatively similar manner, with some distinctive features highlighted for each attraction. In particular, tourists commented about a variety of visit components including natural elements, supporting infrastructure, experiential aspects, as well as their feelings/impressions. Furthermore, differences were noticed when the attraction visits were explored according to various personal characteristics. Findings from the study offer useful directions in further developing, promoting, and managing Wet Tropics attractions that offer diverse experiences in different recreation settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-141
Number of pages20
JournalTourism Review International
Volume20
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • Preferences of recreationists (POR)
  • Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS)
  • Tourist experience
  • Tripadvisor
  • Wet Tropics

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