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Tourism : An International Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol.64 No.1 March 2016. -

As visitors to national parks differ in terms of their profiles and needs, an empirical evaluation of the quality of their experiences, if based on a homogeneous sample, may lead to false conclusions and, hence, inappropriate management decisions. Using Paklenica National Park as a case study, this paper aims to provide a more heterogeneous perspective on the definition of the quality of visitor experiences with park facilities and services. Data were randomly collected from visitors by means of a self-administered questionnaire with a face-to-face approach n=342. First, visitors were segmented according to the benefits sought. Second, the differences between the obtained segments were examined in terms of the importance of and satisfaction with the facilities and services provided by the park agency. Hierarchical and K-mean cluster analyses resulted in the identification of three distinct segments: Naturalists, Escapists and Ecotourists. In terms of the importance given to and satisfaction with the park facilities and services, the results indicated that the segments significantly differed in four out of six underlying factors. The results of the gap analysis showed that the quality of the experience differed across the segments. The findings of this study revealed that visitor market segmentation can serve as a powerful technique in evaluating the quality of visitors experiences.

nature-based tourism; national park visitor experiences; benefit-sought segmentation; service quality gap analysis; Croatia



Author: Demir Barić - ; Departamento Historia, Geografía y Filosofía, Universidad de Cádiz, Cádiz, Spain Petra Anić - ; Department

Source: http://hrcak.srce.hr/



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