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Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management 1 (2005) 137–149 Development and ranking of tourism management goals for Wolong and Wanglang Giant Panda Nature Reserves, China Weinan Connie Yin and Paul F. J. Eagles Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Key words: Tourism management goals, giant panda, nature reserve, China, endangered species SUMMARY The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleucais) is an endangered species with a high-profile international image. Its profile is heightened through its use by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) as a symbol of conservation. To protect the giant panda and its habitat, the Chinese government established 33 nature reserves between 1962 and 2002, with a total area of 5,830 km . There are about 1,590 wild giant panda protected and managed in their natural habitat in China. The Wolong and Wanglang Nature Reserves in the Minshan Mountains of Sichuan Province have thriving populations of giant pandas and, recently, have seen large increases in tourism. Neither of these reserves have formal tour- ism management goals or plans. This research used a literature review to develop tourism management goals and a Delphi method applied to reserve managers, scientists and park visitors to develop and prioritize the goals for these reserves. The research found that the tourism management goals developed from the international literature were applicable in this specific situation involving a charismatic, endangered species in China. It also revealed that prioritization amongst many applicable goals can also be achieved. This is the first time that tourism management goals have been developed for the giant panda reserves in China. It is also significant that these goals were developed using the opinions of three key groups involved in research, resource management and tourism at the reserves. INTRODUCTION The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleucais) is an and its habitat, the Chinese government estab- endangered species of large mammal with a won- lished 33 nature reserves between 1962 and 2002, derful image in the world (Schaller et al. 1985). with a total area of 5,830 km (Zhao 2002). These Because of its impressive black and white appear- reserves contain more than 50% of the giant panda ance and its rarity, the WWF selected it as their habitat and give protection to about 60% of the wild symbol of conservation. To protect the giant panda giant panda population (WWF 2003). There are Correspondence: Paul F. J. Eagles, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada. Email: email@example.com Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:07 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles about 1,590 wild giant panda protected and man- indicate a general management direction, though aged in their natural habitat in China (WWF 2004). not in detail (Jones 1990). It is necessary to identify The Minshan Mountains of Sichuan Province have the purposes of the project, to order goals in terms the largest population of giant panda. Wolong and of their importance, and to consider how far they Wanglang Nature Reserves in the Minshan Moun- are reconcilable with each other. In other words, tains are the focus of this research. Both are close to goals are general statements of broad ends to which Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province in the management aspires (Eagles et al. 2002). They also southwest of China. tend to fall into broad categories, such as social, The Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve was economic and environmental, although some cate- the first reserve created, designated in 1963, and gories may overlap, and they may include qualities is also the largest, about 2,000 km . It extends of the planning process itself, such as flexibility about 60 km from east to west and 63 km from (Hall 1992). north to south (102°52′–103°24′E, 30°45′– Eagles et al. (2002) recommend that parks and 31°25′N). The Wanglang Nature Reserve, estab- reserve management should be guided by a set of lished in 1965, covers 323 km (103°55′–104°10′E, overall goals set within the context of a manage- 32°49′–33°02′N). ment plan. The fundamental purpose of the Because of its reputation and large area, Wolong protected area must be reflected in the tourism has many more visitors than most other nature management goals, which are a subset of the overall reserves in China, with about 100,000 visitors management goals. In the formulation of the goals, in 2002 (M. Chen, personal communication, the contribution of the visitors, the agency staff of November 3, 2003). With the development of nature reserves, and the academic experts can be tourism, visitor numbers in Wanglang have in- determining. Since expert knowledge about these creased dramatically in recent years: from 1,100 in broad matters is needed, the Delphi method can be 1998; 1,700 in 1999; 4,770 in 2000; 12,460 in 2001; used in the formulation of goals. The purpose of a to 21,266 in 2002 (S.W. Jiang, personal communica- Delphi exercise is to establish an expert view of tion, May 28, 2003). Both nature reserves face the a given subject (Perloff 1980). dilemma of managing the natural resources and Tourism management goals in giant panda the increasing number of visitors. At present, nature reserves would describe in very broad terms neither reserve has tourism management goals or the ideals that management strives to attain. These plans. The purpose of this study was to formulate goals would be visions for the future and the focus tourism management goals for the two giant panda would be on desired future conditions, not specific nature reserves, Wolong and Wanglang. actions. Given the absence of existing tourism man- The research involved a two-step process. A agement goals in Chinese nature reserve policy, literature review of Chinese material, including the draft tourism management goal statements existing policy documents and reserve manage- followed the lead of Eagles et al. (2002) for utilizing ment statements, found no examples of explicit six subject areas: tourism management goals for Chinese parks or • Goal A – Increasing financial returns to the reserves. This absence revealed that the develop- reserves; ment of such goals must be from existing inter- • Goal B – Effectively accomplishing ecological national literature sources. Therefore, the first step preservation; was the development of draft tourism management • Goal C – Fulfilling local community goal statements based on international park tour- development; ism literature. The second step involved the rank- • Goal D – Accurately forecasting visitor numbers; ing of these goal statements through a Delphi • Goal E – Visitor satisfaction management; and, approach with a survey instrument given to park • Goal F – Fostering public awareness of environ- managers, scientists and park visitors. mental appreciation and protection. These goal statements and their associated detailed LITERATURE REVIEW subgoals became the basis for a Delphi group rank- In the tourism planning process, defining goals ing. The background to each of these five areas is is the first and the most difficult step. The goals outlined in turn. 138 International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:08 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles grazing, gathering herbs and poaching. To make DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM GOAL a living, local residents often rely on the natural STATEMENTS resources. Most of the conflicts between natural Goal A: Increasing financial returns to resource protection and local residents result from the reserves poverty. The nature reserves in China face major As with other types of tourism, park tourism budgetary constraints and managers consider involves visitor expenditures that result in the tourist user fees as a way of increasing income. generation of revenue and employment. Tourism However, the panda reserves were originally estab- with international travellers involves high levels of lished for scientific research and nature conser- economic leakage and low levels of the associated vation, not for use by recreational visitors. local community benefits. To increase the local Tourism-related revenues can partially or fully economic benefits, effective strategies are neces- offset the costs of environment preservation in sary. Stimulating the expenditure per visitor is an parks and reserves. Park tourism not only plays a effective way to inject more money into the local growing role in the protection and enhancement economy without the need of attracting signifi- of nature reserves in China, but can also become cantly more visitors (Eagles and McCool 2002). an important source of the funds for improved The remote locations of the panda reserves and the management and expansion of these sites (Weaver poorly-developed tourism infrastructure currently 2001). Visitor fees are direct income from tourism. lead to high levels of leakage. The tourism-enhanced fame of giant panda nature Goal statements dealing with increasing the reserves attracted financial investment, donations financial returns to the reserves are given below as and foreign financial aid (M. Chen, personal com- an illustration of the approach used. Goal state- munication, November 3, 2003). It could also, but ments were developed for each of the six subject does not presently, encourage income from the areas, but are not listed in this section of the paper. licensing of intellectual property, sale or rental of How do you rate the importance of the following image rights, and cross product marketing. For two aspects in the formulation of goal A: increasing example, satisfied visitors might make donations to financial return to the reserves by tourism? See the nature reserves towards specific initiatives, e.g. a Table 1. new research or tourism programme. Satisfied and concerned foreign visitors could recommend the nature reserves to their friends, or publish related Goal B: Effectively accomplishing articles. Some of them may lobby for foreign finan- ecological preservation cial aid. The rising reputation of nature reserves Fundraising for ecological preservation can enrich the value of their names and images, which may stimulate cross product marketing. Nature-based tourism in nature reserves is depen- dent upon a healthy environment, both ecologi- cally and managerially. However, without sufficient Minimize the negative impacts of tourism funds for nature reserve management, the natural environment and its associated nature-based tour- Tourism, similar to other forms of development, ism industry can be harmed (Van Sickle and Eagles brings both positive and negative environmental 1998). impacts. This issue is critical for tourism in nature The natural environment has sometimes been reserves, since the human use is within a sensitive degraded in China by activities such as logging, environment (Eagles et al. 2002). Pigram (1990) Table 1 Not at all Not Extremely important important Neutral Important important 1 2 3 4 5 a) Visitor expenditures maximization b) Economic leakage minimization International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management 139 Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:08 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles suggested factors to assess the regenerative ability Economic benefits of natural resources, a critical issue in the identifica- As a service-sector activity, tourism can stimulate tion of the level of visitor impact, that could be sustainable economic development in both local acceptable in a given environment, include: and peripheral regions (Weaver 2001). Tourism in 1. Uniqueness – the differentiation of a given nature reserves can influence the economy of local natural element in a region; communities in four ways. First, visitor expendi- tures are important in local communities. Second, 2. Fragility – its ability to regenerate and resist the natural resource and landscape both inside and tourism effects; and outside a nature reserve are a component of a local 3. Naturalness – how far the area has been area’s quality of life. Third, some of the nature altered from its natural state. reserve’s funding is spent in the local area to pur- chase food, labour and services. So, nature reserves Even at low levels of intensity, and despite the best can bring a net increase in revenues to local com- efforts of nature reserve managers, the negative munities. Fourth, the employees of nature reserves impacts of tourism on the natural environment can and private tourism businesses spend some of their not be totally avoided (Eagles et al. 2002). The income in local communities, on accommodation, impacts largely come from three main activities goods and services. These economic impacts make (Buckley and Pannell cited in Worboys et al. 2001): for a positive economic and social relationship 1. Transport and travel, such as tracks and recre- between nature reserves and local communities ation vehicles; (Eagles and McCool 2002). For maximum local benefit, tourism business 2. Accommodation or shelter, such as campsites; ownership should be by local community members and (WTO 2002). The business and management skill 3. Recreational activities. of local operators and service providers in rural areas must be developed gradually. Cooperation The negative impacts from visitors can be mini- amongst all the stakeholders is necessary (public mized effectively with the careful development and private sectors, NGOs and communities). The and application of reserve management plans economic development for local communities can (Shackley 1998). It is critical that the reserve make local enterprises viable and local people managers have sufficient funds to implement these more aware of the need for environmental protec- plans. tion (WTO 2002). Tourism provides direct and indirect employment and business opportunities for many sectors, including women: guides, pro- Goal C: Fulfilling local community tected area management, transport and accommo- development dation services (including home-stays and family Effective tourism management of nature reserves is cottages), food supply and restaurants, production enhanced with the support of the local community. and sales of handicrafts and local agricultural One way to gain this support is through the involve- products and infrastructure development (e.g. ment of local people in the planning and service roads, water and electricity supply, etc.) (WTO delivery of tourism (Campbell 1994). Such involve- 2002). ment raises awareness of the potential benefits of ecotourism, enhances local pride in natural and cultural resources, encourages conservation and Cultural enhancement empowers people in decision making relative to the development and management of ecotourism Travel experiences can influence visitors in their areas. Park tourism can provide major benefits for understanding and appreciation of other cultures. local community development. It can generate At the same time, visitors’ attitudes and living direct, indirect and induced benefits for communi- patterns can influence the local people. Conse- ties (economic and social benefits), and enhance quently, the increased interest, respect and praise geographic and social distribution of benefits from visitors not only increase the local residents’ (WTO 2002). respect for these visitors, but also enhance the local 140 International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:09 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles residents’ pride in their own customs, traditions 4. Competitor price – The price of tourism for and rituals. Thus both hosts and guests build up substitute destinations; awareness of each other’s character and qualities, 5. Attitudes – Tourist tastes in tourist origin improving appreciation and respect in both groups areas; (Goeldner and Ritchie 2003). Such cultural en- hancement is best undertaken through careful 6. Advertising – Advertising by nature reserves, planning and programme delivery. local communities or tour agency in tourist origin areas; and Residents’ life improvement 7. Expectations and habit persistence – The value given to the benefits derived from a visit Local people’s life quality can be improved by and the long-term retention of that value. effective management of tourism of nature reserves in the following aspects: If reserve visitors were very satisfied with their experience, they would be inclined to visit again • Developing local facilities, health care, trans- and to recommend that others visit as well. There- portation and communications and educational fore, the number of visitors to a giant panda nature service reserve in a certain year is related to the numbers • Promoting aesthetic, spiritual and other values of previous years and the satisfaction of former related to well-being visitors. • Encouraging them to learn the languages and cultures of foreign tourists, to value their local culture and environments, to develop their Goal E: Visitor satisfaction management culture, crafts and the arts (Eagles et al. 2002; Visitor satisfaction occurs when the visitor experi- WTO 2002); and ence achieves or exceeds expectations. Very impor- • Establishing community development funds into tantly for nature reserves in China, high visitor which part of the tourism revenue is channelled satisfaction could, in turn, satisfy the goal of increas- and used for developing infrastructure and ing the financial return. Visitor satisfaction builds social services (WTO 2002). loyalty and attracts new visitors. It leads to positive, word-of-mouth advertising, reduces the level of complaints from visitors, reinforces workforce effi- ciency and satisfaction, adds value to natural attrac- Goal D: Accurate forecasting of visitor tions and the destination image and justifies numbers charging somewhat higher prices (Mancini 2003). ‘Tourism demand is the foundation on which all If the recreation activity or behaviour results in the tourism-related business decisions ultimately rest’ achievement of goals or satisfactions, the result is a (Song and Witt 2000:1). The success of tourism strengthened personal attitude. It is important to development in any reserve depends on the state identify the various needs, motives and satisfactions of the tourism demand, understanding of this that compel people to seek out more recreation demand and development of facilities and services activities and experiences (Mannell and Kleiber to fulfill the demand. Thus, the forecasting of tour- 1997). During the stage of activity or behaviour, the ism demand plays a key role in tourism business quality of service and facilities and product pricing profitability. Forecasting can be determined by are the main factors influencing visitor satisfaction. consideration of seven factors (Witt and Moutinho Visitors seek destinations that identify and meet 1995; Song and Witt 2000): their wants (Ryan 1995). The visitor is often the 1. Population – The population of tourist origin ultimate source of the revenue and political power areas; that encourages governments to establish pro- tected areas (or to strengthen existing ones) as part 2. Income – The level of income in tourist origin of an overall tourism strategy. Thus, understanding areas; visitor motivation is one of the key issues for policy 3. Own price – The price of tourism for giant makers, nature reserve managers and business panda nature reserves; persons (Ceballos-Lascurain 1996). International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management 141 Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:09 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles Visitor service management Pricing Excellent visitor service is the key for a successful Pricing strategy is a critical element in tourism tourism destination. One aspect of visitor service management. It impacts both visitor use fees and is to understanding visitors’ attraction motives. contracting-out fees. For visitors, price influences Motivation is a mental value that moves people to their involvement and satisfaction. Decreases in action and gives direction to that action once it is visitor fee levels may bring a series of impacts, such aroused or activated. The term need can be used to as a rise in reserve use and the associated higher refer to both physiological and socially-learned management spending. Conversely, increases in motives (Mannell and Kleiber 1997). visitor fees may result in visitor complaints and Both Wolong and Wanglang have giant pandas visitor number reductions. as their most significant tourist attraction. How- For the giant panda reserves, visitor use fees ever, these reserves have other important natural generate revenue directly. Appropriate pricing resources as well. Thus, it is possible to increase strategies benefit management objectives. When visitor satisfaction by increasing the emphasis on developing a pricing policy for giant panda nature other valuable natural resources, and reducing the reserves, managers need to think of what the objec- emphasis on the one charismatic megafauna. tives of the pricing strategy are, and how the prices Nature reserve service management can provide are established for a specific product or service visitors with better service in the following five basic in accordance with these objectives (Eagles et al. ways (Sournia, cited in Eagles 2001): 2002). On the other hand, as a management tool, fees could only be effective if they are large enough 1. Good basic information about the two nature to significantly influence visitor behaviour. Fees can reserves within and outside the country; direct visitor behaviour in directions that reduce 2. Good technical information available for a conflict with other management goals, such as visitor to use while planning a trip and while social equality. Relative to the effectiveness, the cost at the locations; must be compared to other alternative manage- ment tools, for example, earning income, control- 3. Good visitor reception achieved through ling frequency of use, moving use to an alternative training of ecolodge, nature reserve and guid- area or time, creating an attitude of respect or ing staff; achieving some desirable social purpose (e.g. using 4. Good accommodation and transportation differential fees to favour local residents or encour- facilities to ensure adequate levels of safety, aging less privileged sectors of society to use nature comfort and medical attention; and reserves) (Eagles et al. 2002). 5. Good facilities adapted to the nature reserves’ conditions and to the types of visitors Goal F: Fostering public awareness of targeted. environmental appreciation and protection It is important that all tourism programmes have visitor service quality goals. It is also necessary Interpretation, park-based education, develops know- to have ongoing service quality measurement to ledge in the tourists during the visitation experience. ensure that these goals are met. It generally covers: nature reserve information and Facility quality plays an important role in visitor orientation, rules and regulations, activity opportuni- service satisfaction. In order to give visitors high- ties, major attractions, understanding and apprecia- quality experiences, special characteristics of tion of resources and opportunities to clarify personal different natural environments in nature reserves conservation ethics in relation to the park resources. must be taken into account when designing and Interpretative programmes are designed according setting facilities and services. Facilities can only be to a nature reserve’s own character (Weaver 2001; built in the experimental zone of Chinese nature Worboys et al. 2001). In the giant panda nature reserves (P. R. China 1994). Buildings must avoid reserves, the interpretation could be based on animal pollution or negative impacts on the natural behaviour, botany, geology and environmental man- environment. agement issues in the reserve. 142 International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:10 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles With effective planning and implementation, This Delphi method uses four distinct phases. interpretation can work as a valuable and central The first phase is exploration of the subject under management tool and bring benefits for nature discussion by researchers. In this research, the first reserve agencies. Beaumont (cited in Worboys et al. phase involves development of goal statements 2001) described four roles of interpretation. First, based on the literature and placement of those promote public understanding of nature reserve’s statements into a research instrument. The second goals, recreational programmes and other informa- phase is the recruitment of three groups: an aca- tion about the managed area. Second, the major demic expert panel, a nature reserve management goal of interpretation, which is especially important staff panel and a visitor panel. The third phase in ecotourism, is to enhance visitors’ enjoyment. involves distribution of the research instrument to It helps orient visitors: finding preferable recrea- each member of the Delphi panel. Each member tion activities and doing so safely and enjoyably, ranks the importance of each goal on a five-point developing a keen awareness and appreciation so Likert-type scale, with values ranging from 1 ‘not as to enrich their experience. Third, interpretation at all important’ to 5 ‘extremely important.’ is an effective tool of conservation education, These data are summarized. The fourth phase although it is different from conventional instruc- involves a second round of ranking by each mem- tion. It conveys conservation meanings and rela- ber. In this phase, each member is provided with a tionships based on factual information, the why and summary of the initial ranking, and each person has how of nature conservation. Fourth, it is a tactical an opportunity to re-evaluate their original answers tool for nature reserve management: persuading based on the examination of other participants’ visitors to treat sites respectfully.The tourist guides responses. play an important role among visitors, operators, For the academic panel 20 people were invited local communities and nature reserve managers. to participate. Eight accepted and returned the Clearly interpretation is an important element first-round questionnaire, giving a response rate of in tourism management. Critical management 40%. The second-round questionnaires were sent issues include the level and types of programmes, to these eight respondents, and seven replied. For the costs of the programmes and the amount of the staff panel, 10 people were invited and eight funding available for programme development people participated in the first round, giving a and delivery. response rate of 80%, and they all completed their second-round questionnaires. For the visitor panel, 12 people were contacted using a tourism discus- RESEARCH METHODS FOR DELPHI sion group in China. Nine people who had visited at The literature review provided the background for least one of the research sites joined the visitor the development of potential tourism management panel and returned their first-round question- goals within the six subject areas. Twenty-six state- naires, giving a response rate of 75%. In the second ments, called subgoals, were developed within the round, one of the nine participants declined, and six overall goals. Such statements became the basis eight questionnaires were collected. The overall of a ranking and prioritization exercise utilizing a response rate of the first round was 59.5% from a Delphi method. total of 42 contacted people, and 23 participants Delphi is a method for structuring a group com- out of the 25 first-round respondents replied to the munication process that allows a group of indivi- second-round questionnaire. duals, as a whole, to deal with a complex problem It is important to note that the survey was a (Linstone et al. 1975). It is most useful in dealing census of the managers who work at the reserves with issues that require consideration of a complex and all the scientists who had worked on various set of variables on which there may be a number of aspects of science at the reserves. The respondent plausible viewpoints. Participants may reach some numbers were therefore low. Only the visitor panel agreement during the process. The number of par- constituted a sample. ticipants in Delphi research in past studies covers a Local community residents were not invited to wide range, from 10 to hundreds. Expertise on the participate in this research, due to their large num- subject is the key criterion for inclusion in Delphi bers and the very high cost of effectively involving research (Martino cited in Kyanak et al. 1994). large numbers of local citizens in this research. International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management 143 Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:10 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles Funds for such large-scale community involvement • Goal E – Satisfying the expectations of visitors. were not available. Table 2 lists the six goals in the order of ranking, from highest to lowest. Under each goal, the sub- goals are also listed in rank order, from highest RESULTS OF GOAL RANKING to lowest. The respondents ranked the goal state- The survey instrument collected basic background ments and the subgoal statements independently, information on the panellists. The visitation experi- thus giving a situation where the ecological preser- ence for the visitor panel and academic expert vation goal received a mean ranking of 5, while panel ranged from one to 12 visits to the panda each of the subgoals under ecological preservation reserves. The work experience of the managers in received a mean ranking varying from 4.48 to 4.78. the nature reserve ranged from 1.5 to 28 years. Each The mean score of the goal statement is not a mean of the seven academic expert panellists had been derived from the subgoals. involved in one or more research projects working This research found that ecological preservation within the reserves. Four of the academic expert is most important, while visitor satisfaction is least panellists were professors in universities, while important. The ranking suggests that ecological three were from a non-government organization, a preservation should be paramount, while all tour- government agency and a planning company. All ism activities must fit within and be complementary of the eight participants in the visitor panel had to this overall goal. a university education. Five were from Sichuan Goal B, effectively accomplishing ecological Province, and the others were from Beijing, preservation, and Goal F, fostering public aware- Yunnan Province and Hubei Province. They all ness of environmental protection and apprecia- considered ‘travel’ or ‘outdoor activities’ as their tion, are the two most highly ranked goals. Such main personal interest. Participants in the staff ranking reveals that these Chinese reserves are simi- panel worked either in the tourism-related depart- lar to most other protected area systems in the ment or in senior manager positions. All had a world, where conservation and recreation are the post-secondary education but no data on academic predominant goals. subject areas was collected. Goal C, fulfilling local community development, is the third most important goal. Campbell (1994) emphasized that effective tourism management Combined results can only occur with the support of the local com- For the combined results of the 26 tourism goals, munities. This is especially valid for nature reserves the mean scores of the entire population were 3.61 in China. After the logging ban was applied in 1998 or greater on a scale from 1 to 5 (Table 2). There- in China, the nature reserves and their surround- fore, all the goals are important, but with different ing communities faced serious economic hard- levels of importance. This finding indicates that the ships. To make up for the loss of logging income, tourism goals assembled from the international poaching, herding, woodcutting and the collec- literature are relevant and applicable to the giant tion of medicinal plants increased, all of which panda reserves in China. harmed giant panda habitat (WWF 2002). Effective A list of the six goals ranked from the highest implementation of Goal C, fulfilling local com- to the lowest in importance is: munity development, can positively impact other • Goal B – Effectively accomplishing ecological goals, such as Goal A, effectively accomplishing preservation; ecological preservation, and Goal F, fostering pub- • Goal F – Fostering public awareness of environ- lic awareness of environmental appreciation and mental appreciation and protection; protection. • Goal C – Fulfilling local community The success of tourism development in parks development; and reserves largely depends on the state of tourism • Goal A – Increasing financial returns to the demand. The failure to meet market demand reserves; contributes to the failure of most tourism-related • Goal D – Accurately forecasting visitor numbers; business in nature reserves and their local com- and munities (Song and Witt 2000). Thus, Goal D, 144 International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:10 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles Table 2 Evaluation of the tourism goals Goal Sub-goal All panels Statement Rank Rank Mean SD Goal B: Effectively accomplishing ecological preservation 1 5.00 0.00 b) Minimizing the negative impact of tourism on giant pandas and their habitat 1 4.78 0.42 a) Boosting fundraising for ecological preservation 2 4.61 0.58 c) Mitigating the negative impact of the local community on giant pandas and their 3 4.48 0.67 habitat, such as poaching and grazing Goal F: Fostering public awareness of environmental protection and appreciation 2 4.83 0.39 a) High-quality interpretation to both visitors and local residents 1 4.83 0.39 b) Monitoring visitor impacts, orienting visitors 2 4.70 0.47 c) Being an effective tool of conservation education 3 4.70 0.56 d) Being a tactical tool for nature reserve management 4 4.61 0.50 e) Modelling appropriate on-site environmental and cultural practices 5 3.96 0.56 Goal C: Fulfilling local community development 3 4.35 0.65 d) Minimizing the negative impact of tourism on local residents 1 4.61 0.50 c) Improving the quality of life for the local residents 2 4.39 0.58 b) Enhancing local culture 3 4.35 0.88 a) Maximizing economic benefits to the local community 4 3.39 0.99 Goal A: Increasing financial return to the reserves 4 3.91 0.51 a) Visitor expenditures maximization 1 4.00 0.80 b) Economic leakage minimization 2 3.48 1.04 Goal D: Accurately forecasting visitor numbers 5 3.91 0.51 e) Understanding tastes of potential tourists 1 4.30 0.63 i) Cooperative effort with another tourism destination 2 4.13 0.55 c) The cost of travel and living 3 4.13 0.69 b) The level of income in tourist origin areas 4 4.13 0.87 g) Expectations of visitors 5 4.04 0.64 d) The costs of tourism for alternate destinations 6 3.96 0.56 f) Advertising in potential tourism markets 7 3.87 0.76 h) Return rate 8 3.74 0.86 a) Population in potential visitor markets 9 3.70 0.63 Goal E: Satisfying the expectations of visitors 6 3.61 0.78 a) Understanding visitor motivation 1 4.48 0.67 b) Improvement of the quality of service and facilities 2 4.39 0.66 c) Establishing a pricing policy 3 3.91 0.51 accurately forecasting visitor numbers, plays a key enough rangers or purchase equipment to protect role as a determinant factor for the accomplish- wildlife from being poached (S. W. Jiang, personal ment of Goal A, increasing financial return to the communication May 28, 2003). Thus, Goal A, reserves, and Goal C, fulfilling local community increasing financial returns to the reserves, and development. Goal B, effectively accomplishing ecological preser- Goal A, increasing financial return to the vation, influence each other. Goal A and Goal E, reserves, and Goal D, accurately forecasting visitor satisfying the expectations of visitors, also have an numbers, are ranked as the fourth most important impact on each other. If Goal A is realized, nature goals. Financial shortage is a serious problem faced reserves can receive better financial benefits from by all nature reserves in China, including the giant tourism development. Thus, there will be more panda nature reserves. This is a major reason why available funding for ecological preservation, facili- nature reserve managers wish to further develop ties improvement, marketing research, etc. As a tourism in nature reserves. For instance, because result, Goal B and Goal E will be met. From the of fiscal limitations, nature reserves cannot hire standpoint of tourism management, improving International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management 145 Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:11 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles visitor satisfaction could, in turn, satisfy the goal leakage minimization had the second lowest overall of increasing the financial benefits. mean score of 3.48 (SD = 1.04). These two sub-goals Goal E, satisfying the expectations of visitors, was are both related to economics. The standard devia- ranked as the lowest level of importance by the total tions of the two sub-goals are both around 1, indi- group. However, as will be seen later, there were cating that the participants had different opinions. major differences of opinion on this point amongst the three groups of panellists. Comparisons amongst panels Within all the individual 26 sub-goals, the one dealing with maximizing economic benefits to the The three panels showed differences in ranking local community received the lowest overall mean (Table 3 and Figure 1). The most significant simi- score of 3.39 (SD = 0.99). The sub-goal of economic larities and differences are worthy of discussion. Table 3 Ranking of the goals by the panels Visitor Academic panel expert panel Staff panel All panels Statement Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Goal B: Effectively accomplishing ecological 5.00 0.00 5.00 0.00 5.00 0.00 5.00 0.00 preservation Goal F: Fostering public awareness of 5.00 0.00 4.86 0.38 4.63 0.52 4.83 0.39 environmental protection and appreciation Goal C: Fulfilling local community development 4.25 0.46 4.71 0.49 4.13 0.83 4.35 0.65 Goal A: Increasing financial return to the 3.63 0.52 3.86 0.38 4.25 0.46 3.91 0.51 reserves Goal D: Accurately forecasting visitor numbers 4.25 0.46 3.86 0.38 3.63 0.52 3.91 0.51 Goal E: Satisfying the expectations of visitors 3.13 0.64 3.29 0.49 4.38 0.52 3.61 0.78 Figure 1 Ranking of the goals by the panels. (Based on a 5-point, Likert-type scale where 1 = ‘not at all important’ and 5 = ‘extremely important’.) 146 International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:40 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles Goal B, ecological preservation, and Goal F, higher personal stake in the outcomes that would public awareness, are highly ranked by all panels. occur with such income. The visitor panellists Goal C, community development, is highly ranked appear to have a stronger sense of natural resource by all panels, with the academics giving a higher and environment protection. They also feel that level of priority than the managers or the visitors. tourism development should not become the prin- For Goal A, increasing financial return to the cipal financial source for nature reserves, while the reserves, the staff panel gave the highest ranking, government should be responsible for providing while the visitor panel gave the lowest. Clearly, the sufficient levels of funding. The visitors expressed reserve managers are much more interested in strong concern that increasing the financial return having park tourists pay more towards reserve man- from tourism development may conflict with the agement, while the visitors were much less enthusi- preservation of natural resources and the astic about paying these fees. environment. For Goal D, accurately forecasting visitor num- Interestingly, the academic panel provided bers, the visitor panel gave the highest level of intermediate ranking for most goals. This suggests importance amongst the three panels, while the that the academics may have a broader view of the staff panel gave it the lowest. Here, the visitors may issues, and thus appreciate the points of view of the be showing concern about increasing visitor num- other two groups. However, the higher emphasis bers, and thus their concern about accurate fore- placed on community development suggests that casting, while the staff panel may have more interest the academics have a higher social conscience that in increasing numbers. the managers or the visitors. Goal E, satisfying the expectations of visitors, was This research reveals that well-known manage- ranked much higher by the managers than by the ment issues occur in the Chinese panda reserves as other two panels. Clearly, the reserve managers see occurs in parks and reserves all over the world. The the need for visitor satisfaction and the associated relative balance of nature conservation and tourism financial and political rewards, more than do the development is a well-worn discussion path in park scientists or the visitors themselves. This is possibly management. In addition, the relative cost of due to the fact that the reserve managers need the management that should be borne by government income from the visitors, where tourism income tax sources and by tourists is also a familiar manage- is not personally relevant to the scientists or the ment debate around the world. visitors. The academic panel provided scores between DISCUSSION the other two groups for all goals, except for Goal C, fulfilling local community development. The This research finds that all the tourism manage- academic panel ranked this goal much higher than ment goals presented to the members of the did the managers or the visitors. This ranking research panels are important. Therefore, all these suggests that the academics may hold a broader goals should be included in any future manage- perspective of the role of the community develop- ment plans for Wolong and Wanglang Nature ment. Conversely, both the managers and the visi- Reserves. tors are more concerned with management issues This research also shows that the goals devel- within the panda reserve and therefore rank con- oped from the worldwide literature are applicable cerns that occur outside the reserve, such a com- in these specific Chinese cases. The management munity development, at a lower level. of nature conservation and tourism development in Generally, the staff panel believed that increas- China involves similar concepts and conflicts as ing financial returns to nature reserves through occur elsewhere. Therefore, as the Chinese plan- visitor expenditure maximization was more impor- ners develop tourism plans for the reserves, they tant than did the visitor panel or the academic can safely utilize the international literature for panel. This important difference occurs due to guidance. several underlying factors. The nature reserve Park planners will have to prioritize amongst a managers are much more aware of the weak finan- large number of goals. To assist with this purpose, cial situation of the panda reserves than are the the authors divided all the sub-goals into three visitors or the scientists. The managers have a much priority levels based on the overall mean scores International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management 147 Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:41 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles Table 4 Priority setting Priority level 1 2 3 Goals and sub-goals (listed by rank order of goal) Goal D: Effectively accomplishing ecological preservation X Minimizing the negative impact of tourism on giant pandas and their habitat X Boosting fundraising for ecological preservation X Mitigating the negative impact of the local community on giant pandas and their habitat, such as poaching and grazing Goal F: Fostering public awareness of environmental appreciation and protection X High-quality interpretation to both visitors and local residents X Monitoring visitor impacts, orientating visitors X Being an effective tool of conservation education X Being a tactical tool for nature reserve management X Modelling appropriate on-site environmental and cultural practices Goal B: Fulfilling local community development X Minimizing the negative impact of tourism on local residents X Improving the quality of life for the local residents X Enhancing local culture X Maximizing economic benefits to the local community Goal A: Increasing financial return to the reserves X Visitor expenditures maximization X Economic leakage minimization Goal D: Accurately forecasting visitor numbers X Understanding tastes of potential tourists X Cooperating with another tourism destination X The cost of travel and living X The level of income in tourist origin areas X Expectations of visitors X The costs of tourism for alternate destinations X Advertising in potential tourism markets X Return rate X Population in potential visitor markets Goal E: Visitor expectations management X Understanding visitor motivation X Improvement of the quality of service and facilities X Establishing a pricing policy (Table 4). Level I priority includes 7 sub-goals with assigned the most money for implementation. Or overall mean scores ranging from 4.61 to 4.83. the higher priority items could be given the highest Level II includes 11 sub-goals with the overall mean profile in management planning. It is up to the scores ranging from 4.00 to 4.48. Level III includes reserve managers to decide the best approach to 8 sub-goals with the overall mean scores ranging use. from 3.48 to 3.96. It is again important to note that The Chinese giant panda reserves are very all of these goals are ranked above 3.00, which is the important conservation reserves that assist in the neutral point on the five-point ranking scale. conservation and understanding of one of the There are several approaches that could be used world’s best-known, endangered species. This by managers to deal with the three levels of priority. research provides the first comprehensive listing The higher priority items could be addressed first. of goal statements for application within tourism Alternatively, the higher priority items could be management planning for these reserves. It also 148 International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management Z:\Sapiens Publishing\Int J Biodiversity Sci & Management\A5116 - Bio Sci & Management - Sept 2005.vp 15 December 2005 11:57:41 Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen Development and ranking of tourism management goals Yin and Eagles provides a ranking that can assist planners in the ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS setting of priorities amongst many highly-ranked The authors wish to thank Mr. Shiwei Jiang, the goals. It is important that those involved in reserve Deputy Director of the Wanglang Panda Reserve, management move forward constructively so that and Mr. Meng Chen, the Director of the Tourism tourism development occurs in a fashion that Development Department of Wolong Panda best supports endangered species conservation as Reserve, for their assistance in this project. They well as local community development. Careful approved the project and encouraged their staff development and implementation of tourism members to cooperate. This work could not have management plans should assist with the long-term gone forward without their support and assistance. sustainable development of the Chinese giant Honggen Xiao of the University of Waterloo panda reserves. provided much helpful advice. REFERENCES Campbell B. Economic Analysis of Protected Areas: Methods Pigram J. Sustainable tourism – policy considerations. and Yukon Economic Impact Analysis. 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International Journal of Biodiversity Science & Management – Taylor & Francis
Published: Sep 1, 2005
Keywords: TOURISM MANAGEMENT GOALS; GIANT PANDA; NATURE RESERVE; CHINA; ENDANGERED SPECIES
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