Visitor responses to environmental interpretation in protected areas in vietnam.pdf
Environmental interpretation is regarded as an effective soft management strategy for educating visitors and managing their impacts on protected areas. Only limited research has been conducted on visitors’ views on environmental interpretation in protected areas in the rapidly developing destinations of South-East Asia, with particular gaps in understanding different visitor groups. This article seeks to fill this gap in the context of Vietnam by examining visitor responses to services for environmental interpretation in one of the country’s largest national parks. The research employed Importance-Performance Analysis and subsequent motivation-based visitor segmentation based on 237 sets of pre and post-visit questionnaires distributed by the authors as self-complete questionnaires at the entry and exit gateway to the national park. The findings highlight that site interpreters were considered the most important service providers, while displays at the museum and videos were identified as important but low performing. A number of differences between motivation-based visitor groups as well as some culturally-anchored response patterns emerged which highlighted the need for park management to consider different visitor groups; not only in terms of their motivations to visit but also their cultural backgrounds when designing, investing maintenance funding, and evaluating interpretive services.