This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Defining Visitor Satisfaction in the Context of Camping Oriented Nature-Based Tourism within Alabama State Parks




Van Hyfte, Melissa

Type of Degree



Nutrition and Food Science


Whether out of economic circumstance or a genuine desire to reconnect with nature, recent years have witnessed an increase in demand for alternative nature-based forms of tourism activity. Alongside this interest in the outdoors has come a demand for quality servicing infrastructure to meet the very wide variety of needs, wants and expectations expressed and sought by today’s traveling public. This has presented a range of challenges to those in the nature-based tourism supply sector, not least those at the front line, whose role is now shifting from environmental stewardship and education to one of customer service agent. Against this background, this project seeks to address the issue of quality product/service provision in satisfying nature based tourists in the state of Alabama. A study of visitor perceptions in 23 state parks sought to evaluate visitor satisfaction with state park camping service provision and its role in driving visitors future behavior with respect to potential re-visitation and recommendation intention. Results attest to the psychometric performance of the research instrument, as well as pointing to the key drivers of both dependent variables. An exploratory factor analysis identifies the factors that are critical to the sample population in terms of explaining and predicting both satisfaction and future behavioral intention.