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Special Issue "Ecotourism and Behavior Transformation"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Jinyang Deng

School of Natural Resources, West Virginia University, PO BOX 6125, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: (304) 293-6818
Interests: ecotourism; rural tourism; urban forests; GIS
Guest Editor
Dr. Steve Selin

Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, Div of Forestry and Natural Resources, West Virginia University
Website | E-Mail
Phone: (304) 293-7033
Interests: human dimensions research, sustainable recreation management, collaborative governance, community-based conservation, nature-based tourism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smith (1978) defines a tourist as “a temporarily leisured person who voluntarily visits a place away from home for the purpose of experiencing change” (p.2). Bruner (1991) argues that “the tourist self is changed very little by the tour, while the consequences of tourism for the native self are profound” (p. 238). While transformation can occur for both tourists and local residents/destinations, it seems that much research on tourism in general and ecotourism in particular has focused on the latter than on the former, although the sustainability of ecotourism largely depends on the existence of a population that cares about the environment/community and acts for the environment/community. Ecotourism may contribute to the formation and growth of such population through self-transformation, which could be achieved through nature-based environmental learning, education, and experience (Orams 1997). Tourists’ knowledge about and appreciation of natural environments may lead to “the changing of attitudes to those that are more environmentally and ecologically sound” (Orams 1997, p. 298). This formation of positive environmental attitudes then may help to motivate their intention to have more hands-on ecotourism experiences, which would create “intentions to change behavior; and finally actual behavior change” (Orams 1997, p. 298) or “convert him or her into somebody keenly involved in conservation issues” (Ceballos-Lascuráin 1990, p. 25). Thus, a general tourist, through nature-based experience, may end up being a responsible tourist or ecotourist who cares about and acts for the environment, the community, and the whole society. The emergence and existence of this market would eventually lead to the fulfilment of the goal for ecotourism sustainability and even for the entire tourism industry (cf. Biljana, Cornwell, & Mather, 2002, p. 268). In view of this, this Special Issue invites manuscripts that focus on the following themes:

  1. Measurement development of self-transformation and ecotourism,
  2. Attitudinal and behavioral changes of an ecotourist and as a citizen,
  3. Role of ecotourism destinations/businesses in the promotion/facilitation of self-transformation,
  4. Impacts of self-transformation on the tourism industry, and
  5. Relationships between “green” citizens and “green” travellers.

References

  1. Biljana, J.; Cornwell, T.; Mather, D. Exploring the usefulness of an ecotourism interest scale. J. Travel Res. 2002, 40, 259–269.
  2. Bruner, E.M. Transformation of self in tourism. Annals Tour. Res. 1991, 18, 238–250.
  3. Ceballos-Lascuráin, H. Tourism, ecotourism, and protected Areas. In Ecotourism and Resource Conservation, Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposia on Ecotourism and Resource Conservation, Miami Beach, FL, USA, 27 November–2 December 1990; pp. 24–30.
  4. Orams, M.B. The effectiveness of environmental education: Can we turn tourists into ‘greenies’? Prog. Tour.Hosp. Res. 1997, 3, 295–306.
  5. Smith, V.L. Hosts and Guests: The Anthropology of Tourism; Basil Blackwell: Oxford, UK, 1978.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jinyang Deng
Prof. Dr. Steven Selin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Ecotourism
  • Ecotourists
  • Self-transformation
  • Sustainability

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Segmentation of Nature-Based Tourists in a Rural Area (2008–2009): A Single-Item Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2052; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072052
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 6 April 2019
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Abstract
Although much research on nature-based tourism (NBT) has been conducted in natural areas, such as national parks and other protected areas, studies on NBT in rural areas have been limited. Moreover, few NBT studies, if any, have examined the impact of seasons and/or [...] Read more.
Although much research on nature-based tourism (NBT) has been conducted in natural areas, such as national parks and other protected areas, studies on NBT in rural areas have been limited. Moreover, few NBT studies, if any, have examined the impact of seasons and/or locations on visitors’ perceptions of NBT. This comes as little surprise, given that naturalness, the fundamental core of NBT, is likely to vary with seasons and locations. To this end, this study examines NBT in a rural area in the Appalachian Region, USA, with a focus on market segmentation, based on data collected from a four-season on-site survey of 2692 visitors. Different from many other tourism market studies where multiple-item measures are used, this study uses a single-item measure on natural observation/study to identify NBT segments. Analysis of variance, Chi-square analysis, and discriminant analysis are used to confirm NBT segments and determine the effectiveness of the use of the single-item approach for segmentation. The results show that the single-item approach is effective to differentiate visitors by their socio-demographics and trip characteristics, with findings being consistent with NBT studies in natural areas. It is worth noting that people’s responses to questions on natural observation/study vary with seasons and locations, suggesting that different perceptions of natural affinity may arise from the differences in seasons and locations with different levels of natural elements. Theoretical, methodological, and managerial implications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotourism and Behavior Transformation)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Sustainable Development by Tourists’ Place Emotion: Analysis of the Multiply Mediating Effect of Attitude
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1384; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051384
Received: 9 February 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 March 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (935 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Place emotion is an important factor in studying the behavioral intention of tourists. Based on the planning behavior theory and goal-oriented behavior model, this article combines the actual situation of rural tourist, expands the behavioral theory, and constructs the tourist behavior of place [...] Read more.
Place emotion is an important factor in studying the behavioral intention of tourists. Based on the planning behavior theory and goal-oriented behavior model, this article combines the actual situation of rural tourist, expands the behavioral theory, and constructs the tourist behavior of place emotion. This paper takes the World Cultural Heritage Sites Xidi and Hongcun as research cases and uses Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) research methods. The results indicate that the constructed behavior intention of tourists traveling in rural areas gives a good explanation and goodness of fit. The influence of place emotion on behavioral intention is stronger than attitude, subjective norm, and perceptual behavior control. Through multiple mediation analysis, attitudes have partial mediating effects on place emotions, perceptual behavior control, and subjective norms, and the place emotion has the most significant among the indirect effects, followed by subjective norms and perceptual behavior control. The results provide reliable advice for the sustainable development of rural tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotourism and Behavior Transformation)
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