Distance decay of place attachment and perceived authenticity of mountain tourism destinations in China

Xiao Xiao, Jie Zhang, Jun yu Lu, Li Li, Yan qing Xu, Hong lei Zhang, Geoffrey K. Riungu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Place attachment has been a research focus in the fields of park and recreation management. Place attachment plays an important role in promoting sustainable development of parks and mountain tourism destination, however, there are limited studies that identified the spatial patterns of place attachment, especially in the context of mountain tourism destinations in China. Also, the geospatial spectrum of visitors is usually broad, examining the multivariate relationships among spatial proximity, perceived authenticity, and place attachment are essential for mountain tourism destinations to promote destination image and strengthen emotional bonding with targeted visitor groups. In this study, we selected an iconic and highly visited park, Jiuzhai Valley National Park in China, as our study site and conducted an on-site visitor survey to collect 557 samples. Study uses factor analysis and the structure equation model to analyze the relationship among spatial proximity, perceived authenticity, and place attachment. Results validate the two-dimension structure of place attachment and perceived authenticity. Study findings suggest that spatial proximity has significant impacts on existential authenticity and place identity, but has no significant impacts on place dependence. Perceived authenticity has a positive impact on place attachment. Study results advance the theories of place attachment and provide effective strategies to enhance emotional attachment between visitors and mountain tourism destinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-204
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Mountain Science
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Mountain tourism destination
  • National park
  • Perceived authenticity
  • Place attachment
  • Spatial proximity
  • Visitor experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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