Breaking the rules to venture off-trail at national parks: exploring salient beliefs through a planned behaviour approach
Tourism Recreation Research
Taylor and Francis
School of Business and Law / Markets and Services Research Centre (MASRC)
This research unpacked the salient beliefs towards the problematic behaviour of breaking the rules and walking off-trail at national parks. A systematic elicitation study was conducted through qualitative interviews (n = 27) comprising of 22 visitors, and five park administrators at the Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia. Grounded on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as the theoretical lens, the interviews elicited five behavioural beliefs, six normative beliefs, and six control beliefs. Results identified a closer view of nature and being more adventurous as key attitudinal items shaping visitors to venture off-trail. Concerning important reference groups, other visitors and friends emerged as salient reference groups. With respect to perceived barriers, visitors stated the unclear / lack of signage and damaged / unclear walking trails as key constraints in their decision to stay on-trail.