Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure


Faculty of Business and Law

First Supervisor

Professor Ross Dowling

Second Supervisor

Dr Dale Sanders


Motivation theories and studies play a vital role in understanding why tourists travel and the kind of activities they engage in whilst away from home. By reviewing the literature, it is apparent that previous tourism studies pay scant attention to the issue of why people travel to geosites and this important issue is still an undeveloped area of study. Therefore, investigating the motivations of tourists undertaking a geotourism (geology and tourism) experience reflects an urgent need to bridge the gap in the geotourism literature. The purpose of this study is to explore the different motivations behind tourists engaging in a geotourism experience and to investigate the behavioural intention of tourists to revisit a geosite. Guided by Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000), this research seeks to investigate what are different types of motivation (intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation and amotivation) behind the tourists undertaking a geotourism experience and the potential relationship between those motivations and the desire for repeat visitations to the same geosite. Quantitative methodology was employed, consisting of a self-administered questionnaire that involved inviting a convenience sample of 600 tourists visiting Crystal Cave in Yanchep National Park and The Pinnacles in Australia, as well as Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea in Jordan between 2010 - 2011. The current study applied validated and reliable scales which have been broadly used in different domains of life to measure the motivations and behavioural intention. The results of this study revealed that the main intrinsic motivation for the respondents in Jordan and Australia were ‘to escape from the hustle and bustle of the daily life routine’, ‘relaxation’, ‘enjoyment’, ‘a sense of wonder’, and ‘gaining knowledge’. In addition, it showed that the main extrinsic motivation was the identified regulations. Correlation analysis and a series of multiple regressions were conducted to explore the relationship between tourists’ motivation and their behavioural intention to visit geosites repeatedly. The results revealed that the intrinsic motivation and identification of extrinsic motivation were significant predictors of the behavioural intention (loyalty) to re-visit geosites. There is a weak and negative relationship between intrinsic motivation and identified extrinsic motivation with the propensity to switch. In addition, there was a significantly positive relationship between amotivation and propensity to switch, internal and external responses to problems.