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postgraduate thesis: Visitor perceptions and experiences of the Hong Kong geopark

TitleVisitor perceptions and experiences of the Hong Kong geopark
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Fung, K. C. [馮啟穎]. (2014). Visitor perceptions and experiences of the Hong Kong geopark. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThis study explores experiences and perceptions of visitors at the Hong Kong Global Geopark of China (HKGGC) with the aim of optimizing site and visitor management. Newly admitted to the Global Geoparks Network in 2011, HKGGC was initially established as a geotourism area that protects and conserves geological heritage and promotes geological knowledge to local and overseas visitors. Recent increase in geopark visitation and recognition has attracted scientific analysis of this form of nature-based tourism activity. Random sampling reaped 647 questionnaire responses and 163 visitor-employed photography (VEP) sets. The structured questionnaire survey focused on visit motivations, perceptions of park provisions (i.e. transportation and trails), designation and trends of knowledge acquirement. VEP allows visitors to create liberal records of important trip elements, with analysis focusing on geology’s role in trips. Questionnaire analysis showed general satisfaction and geological knowledge improvement. Appreciation of natural and geological elements was a key visit motivation whereas relaxation and exercise were next important. Expectations for all-rounded interpretation provisions remain unfulfilled, and it is necessary to increase signage especially at sites with indistinct features. Male and young respondents were adventurous and active whereas female and elderly prefer safe and convenient experiences. Designation was moderately important to decisions. Willing to spend time and money on geotours, respondents showed further interest in the HKGGC. Site-by-site analysis found a concentration of sports pursuits at Tai Long Wan, family activities at island sites and geological learning at Ma Shi Chau and High Island Reservoir. Cluster analysis found five visitor types of ‘Nature-seeking escapists’, ‘convenience-oriented socializers’, ‘heritage enthusiasts’, ‘passive visitors’, and ‘want-it-all visitors’. Conservation of natural resources boosts sizes of enthusiastic and active groups which had highest levels of satisfaction and knowledge gain. Significant subjects and feelings so-prompted were successfully recorded through VEP. Natural elements dominated the results with strong positive effects; admiration of their beauty and rarity was coupled with good feelings. Reaction to human impacts was mixed; cultural elements were liked whereas negative behavior or environmental impacts received disdain. One-third of ‘geology’ results reinforced visitors’ concurrence with rock’s indispensability in the geotourism concept. Aesthetic appreciation, connection with the past and knowledge acquisition creates fulfillment, leading to discovery of a strong psychological construct in geotourism. Through innovative research methods and comparison with previous studies, this research provides encompassing information for development, management and conservation in geotourism. Visitor priorities and preference directs resources to geological education and low-impact development. Suggestions in achieving higher visitation levels and maximizing site potentials are provided to combat the challenge to satisfy or even exceed expectations, and to upkeep the condition of irreplaceable natural endowments.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectHong Kong - Geoparks - China
Dept/ProgramGeography
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/239969
HKU Library Item IDb5846360

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorFung, Kai-wing, Charmaine-
dc.contributor.author馮啟穎-
dc.date.accessioned2017-04-08T23:13:19Z-
dc.date.available2017-04-08T23:13:19Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationFung, K. C. [馮啟穎]. (2014). Visitor perceptions and experiences of the Hong Kong geopark. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/239969-
dc.description.abstractThis study explores experiences and perceptions of visitors at the Hong Kong Global Geopark of China (HKGGC) with the aim of optimizing site and visitor management. Newly admitted to the Global Geoparks Network in 2011, HKGGC was initially established as a geotourism area that protects and conserves geological heritage and promotes geological knowledge to local and overseas visitors. Recent increase in geopark visitation and recognition has attracted scientific analysis of this form of nature-based tourism activity. Random sampling reaped 647 questionnaire responses and 163 visitor-employed photography (VEP) sets. The structured questionnaire survey focused on visit motivations, perceptions of park provisions (i.e. transportation and trails), designation and trends of knowledge acquirement. VEP allows visitors to create liberal records of important trip elements, with analysis focusing on geology’s role in trips. Questionnaire analysis showed general satisfaction and geological knowledge improvement. Appreciation of natural and geological elements was a key visit motivation whereas relaxation and exercise were next important. Expectations for all-rounded interpretation provisions remain unfulfilled, and it is necessary to increase signage especially at sites with indistinct features. Male and young respondents were adventurous and active whereas female and elderly prefer safe and convenient experiences. Designation was moderately important to decisions. Willing to spend time and money on geotours, respondents showed further interest in the HKGGC. Site-by-site analysis found a concentration of sports pursuits at Tai Long Wan, family activities at island sites and geological learning at Ma Shi Chau and High Island Reservoir. Cluster analysis found five visitor types of ‘Nature-seeking escapists’, ‘convenience-oriented socializers’, ‘heritage enthusiasts’, ‘passive visitors’, and ‘want-it-all visitors’. Conservation of natural resources boosts sizes of enthusiastic and active groups which had highest levels of satisfaction and knowledge gain. Significant subjects and feelings so-prompted were successfully recorded through VEP. Natural elements dominated the results with strong positive effects; admiration of their beauty and rarity was coupled with good feelings. Reaction to human impacts was mixed; cultural elements were liked whereas negative behavior or environmental impacts received disdain. One-third of ‘geology’ results reinforced visitors’ concurrence with rock’s indispensability in the geotourism concept. Aesthetic appreciation, connection with the past and knowledge acquisition creates fulfillment, leading to discovery of a strong psychological construct in geotourism. Through innovative research methods and comparison with previous studies, this research provides encompassing information for development, management and conservation in geotourism. Visitor priorities and preference directs resources to geological education and low-impact development. Suggestions in achieving higher visitation levels and maximizing site potentials are provided to combat the challenge to satisfy or even exceed expectations, and to upkeep the condition of irreplaceable natural endowments.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshHong Kong - Geoparks - China-
dc.titleVisitor perceptions and experiences of the Hong Kong geopark-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5846360-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineGeography-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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