Tourist use of national and marine parks continues to increase worldwide. Effective management depends on being able to evaluate the quality of visitors’ experiences, as well as protecting the natural environment. In tourism management, importance-performance analysis (IPA) has been used as part of quality management. It has recently been applied to national park management. This paper re-conceptualises this analysis to one of importance satisfaction, enabling a focus on the quality of experience. Two methods, importance-performance analysis and service quality gap, were modified and applied in the hinterland of Swan Estuary Marine Park in Western Australia. Both provided data useful for evaluating satisfaction, with the choice of method depending on the end user's resources and requirements as well as cognisance of each method's limitations. For most of the Marine Park attributes, satisfaction exceeded importance and hence no management attention is needed. Exceptions were the condition of the Swan River and associated footpaths, and the presence of litter and wildlife. For these, satisfaction was lower than importance, suggesting management attention is needed.
Tourism Management – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2007
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