Individual differences in the tourist wayfinding decision-making process: A case study of Phillip Island, Victoria
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Wayfinding is important and should be considered by park managers when allocating resources and facilities to aid tourists’ navigation. The aim of this Chapter is to discuss influence of individual differences such as age and gender towards the wayfinding decision-making process of tourists and their consequent physical movement effects. A case study was conducted in the Philip Island National Park, Victoria, Australia. The respondents completed two self-administrate questionnaires, pre-survey and post-survey, to give an indication of how the wayfinding behaviour is affected by the different characteristics and attributes of the wayfinders. And their physical movements were also tracked using Global Positioning Systems (GPS). The Chi-square test, t-test and ANOVA (Analysis of Varirance) were used to identify the statistically significant individual differences of respondents’ wayfinding behaviour. ESRI ArcGIS Tracking Analyst and ET Geowizards were used to identify spatial and temporal movement patterns, such as location, distance and speed. As a result, how the route decision making of a tourist is affected by the nature of various types of landmarks, age, gender, nature of travel group and the tourist’s degree of familiarity with the park has been explored. Correlations were found between gender and familiarity with the environment and physical movement decisions such as direction of travel, distance travelled and time taken. This paper highlights the need for managers to understand that tourists use different wayfinding methods due to their various individual characteristics.
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