Vol18 No.1: 194-204
【Title】Distance decay of place attachment and perceived authenticity of mountain tourism destinations in China
【Author】XIAO Xiao1,2; ZHANG Jie3; LU Jun-yu1,2; LI Li4;. XU Yan-qing5*; ZHANG Hong-lei3; Geoffrey K. RIUNGU6
【Addresses】1 School of Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, 85004, USA; 2 The Hainan University-Arizona State University Joint International Tourism College, Hainan University, Haikou 570004, China; 3 School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China; 4 Jangho Architecture College, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110169, China; 5 School of Politics and Public Administration, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China; 6 Department of Travel and Tour Operations Management, Moi University, Eldoret 30100, Kenya
【Corresponding author】XU Yan-qing
【Citation】XiaoX, Zhang J, Lu JY, et al. (2021) Distance decay of place attachment and perceived authenticity of mountain tourism destinations in China. Journal of Mountain Science 18(1).https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5837-5
【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.
【Keywords】Place attachment; Perceived authenticity; Spatial proximity; Mountain tourism destination; National park; Visitor experience