Wildlife viewing preferences of visitors to protected areas in Sabah, Malaysia: implications for the role of wildlife tourism in conservation

Saikim, Fiffy Hanisdah Binti (2018) Wildlife viewing preferences of visitors to protected areas in Sabah, Malaysia: implications for the role of wildlife tourism in conservation. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.25903/5d3654e8f6d9c
 
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Abstract

This study uses quantitative and qualitative approaches to investigate the preferences of tourists who visit protected areas in Sabah, Malaysia. It considers the implication that such visits have against the conservation of wildlife tourism destinations.

Several theoretical frameworks are employed in this investigation - including critical theory, grounded theory, experience theory, animal encounter theory, biodiversity hotspots theory, and scheme theory. Other theories of importance are involvement theory, theory of planned behaviour, and user-and-gratification theory. This study's wildlife tourism behaviour path model shows that tourist experiences and activities can drive memories, loyalty and satisfaction with the destination's offerings.

The study shows that wildlife tourist's expectations are framed around Sabah's endemic wildlife, rainforest, diversity of animals and abundance of animals, as well as around traditional culture. A good portion of respondent tourists (42%) indicate that their tourist expectations are substantively met, with a further 39% seeing their experience as less than very-highly-met. As such, there is room for improving Sabah's wildlife tourism industry.

The orang utans, followed by the rhinoceros, and then the elephants, are the most popular animal species. Approximately sixty seven per cent (66.9%) of study respondents are in the 25 – 44 age group, with a majority being professional's females, and often from the UK. A majority (63%) of respondents were first time visitors. Regarding environmental conservation, 33.90% (majority of tourists) learned of threats facing the wildlife species in these tours, and indicated that wildlife threats needed attention.

The real world contributions of this study include encouraging wildlife destination sites to seek solutions for the improvement of the appeal of wildlife tourism, and raising both the loyalty and satisfaction levels of outbound wildlife tourists. This study was limited in terms of the tourist respondent convenience sampling employed over as a short period-of-time in Sabah, and conducted at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

Item ID: 58974
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Fiffy Hanisdah Binti Saikim.
Additional Information:

wildlife tourism, Sabah, wildlife, loyalty, destination appeal, wildlife threats

Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2019 02:35
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150601 Impacts of Tourism @ 50%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 50%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 50%
90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900399 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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