Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management Honours

School

School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

First Advisor

Ross Dowling

Second Advisor

Dr Dale Sanders

Abstract

This study develops a typology model for geotourism to address the existing gap in the literature regarding who is participating in geotourism. As geotourism is a new concept, the literature is not only lacking in this area, but there is also a conflict of definitions available from scholars and organisations. This study defines geotourism in accordance to the definition of Newsome and Dowling (2010). It also aims to reduce the gap in literature by providing a starting point to the development of future geotourism typology models through the adaptation of McKercher's Cultural Tourism Typology Model (2002). Participants eligible for this study were tourists participating in the Crystal Cave in Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia. This site was chosen as the Crystal Cave's management is practicing geotourism. Therefore, it was assumed tourists were participating in geotourism as Yanchep National Park, including the Crystal Cave, comply with the definition. Geotourism focuses on sustainability, conservation, benefitting the community, appreciation of cultural and geoheritage value through education and interpretation and tourist satisfaction (Dowling, 2008). Management places importance on the sustainability and conservation of the cave. Tourists have the opportunity to learn as they are provided with educational opportunities in the guided tour through the cultural and geoheritage interpretation. It also benefits the community as it creates job opportunities. Furthermore, results of the study demonstrate that locals visit the cave benefitting them through their positive participation and experiences. The data was collected through on-site self completed questionnaires. Analysis included a criteria sheet and guidelines established in accordance to the description of each of McKercher's typologies as well as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 17 (SPSS). After the analysis of the results, it became evident that the Cultural Tourism Typology Model (2002) could not be applied to geotourism as some typologies needed to be adapted and new typologies were discovered. As a result, a new model was re-developed based on McKercher's Model. Purposeful tourists and incidental tourists remained with the same characteristics. The serendipitous tourist typology was changed slightly to include some gee-motivation. Furthermore, two new typologies were created as a result of the data analysis. The new typologies are the 'intentional geotourist' who is characterised by high geo-influence and positive encounter, and the 'accidental geotourist' who has no geo-influence and a positive encounter.

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