#oldnews: Diffusion of Pro-Conservation Behaviors and Social Media in Wildlife Tourism
Wildlife tourism, i.e., tourism that involves interactions with wildlife, is extremely popular and can occur in in situ (e.g., parks and protected areas) or ex situ (e.g., zoos and aquariums) settings. Annually, more than 12 million trips are taken for wildlife tourism purposes across the globe, and over 4 million people visit wildlife tourism venues in Eastern North Carolina alone. Wildlife tourism has been justified on the grounds that it produces a net-positive impact on wildlife conservation by encouraging tourists to participate in pro-conservation behaviors (PCB). Because tourists may hold unique feelings towards individual PCB, it is important to understand how wildlife tourists’ perceived efficacy of PCB (PEPCB) varies amongst behaviors. It is also important to understand how experiential and personality factors influence the formation of PEPCB. However, empirical data on the factors that influence wildlife tourists’ PEPCB are lacking. This study used the Diffusion of Innovations model to explore (a) how engagement with interpretation, attitudes, and past participation in PCB influence tourists’ perceived efficacy of PCB , and (b) the role of social media as an emerging PCB. Tourists (N = 475) at seven wildlife tourism venues across North Carolina were surveyed. Engagement with interpretation, attitudes, and past participation in PCB were found to have no influence on perceived efficacy of PCB. Posting on social media emerged as a unique PCB in this study, and past participation in this behavior significantly increased perceptions of its efficacy. Results indicate that PCB may be diffused throughout the community; the only exception are PCB related to social media, which may still be considered innovations and warrant further study.
Schuler, Gwyneth. (April 2021). #oldnews: Diffusion of Pro-Conservation Behaviors and Social Media in Wildlife Tourism (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9049.)
Schuler, Gwyneth. #oldnews: Diffusion of Pro-Conservation Behaviors and Social Media in Wildlife Tourism. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, April 2021. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9049. June 20, 2021.
Schuler, Gwyneth, “#oldnews: Diffusion of Pro-Conservation Behaviors and Social Media in Wildlife Tourism” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, April 2021).
Schuler, Gwyneth. #oldnews: Diffusion of Pro-Conservation Behaviors and Social Media in Wildlife Tourism [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; April 2021.
East Carolina University