Environmental concerns and attitudes of tourists towards national park uses and services

Seyed Ahmad Moumen Ghazvini, Dallen J. Timothy, João Sarmento

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Human behaviour plays a significant role in preserving or degrading the environment. To put into practice the notion of ‘use without abuse’, it is vital for national park managers to be cognizant of tourists' attitudes and beliefs, which in turn affect their behaviours. This study evaluates the attitudes of domestic and international tourists regarding the appropriate uses of national parks, as well as their environmental concerns. The study also addresses the relationship between environmental concerns and tourists' perceptions of the appropriateness of activities, facilities and services inside national parks. A total of 379 domestic (n = 175) and international (n = 204) tourists participated in this study at Taman Negara (national park), Malaysia. The findings reveal that domestic tourists perceive motorised activities, accommodation and service facilities, and sport/recreation facilities as more acceptable than international tourists do. The results of this study may help managers of protected areas in Malaysia and other developing countries play a stronger role in improving visitors' awareness of environmental challenges and acceptable behaviours and activities. Management implications: This study reinforces established ideas for national park and protected area management: • Tourists' environmental concerns can negatively affect their attitudes towards the appropriateness of activities, facilities, and accommodations within national parks. • The attitudes of various groups of visitors regarding human uses of national parks vary between different cultural backgrounds. • To reduce the impact of tourism activities on the natural environment and minimising the environmental degradation of protected areas, decision-makers should incorporate into their management plans the environmental concerns and attitudes of visitors who use protected areas and national parks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100296
JournalJournal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Appropriate use
  • Ecotourism
  • Environmental concerns
  • National parks
  • Protected areas
  • Tourist attitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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