Place Attachment and Pro-Environmental Behaviour in National Parks: The Development of a Conceptual Framework
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This paper critically examines the concept of place attachment and its likely influence on pro-environmental behavioural intention of visitors. It considers place attachment as a multidimensional construct comprising place dependence, place identity, place affect and place social bonding, and suggests that research investigating this relationship in a national park context is fragmented, scattered and often does not fully consider its multidimensional nature. A coherent and integrated approach is needed to advance the field. By considering place attachment as an attitude and acknowledging the close relationship between attitude and behavioural intention when both are directed towards a particular object or environment, the paper develops a conceptual framework that integrates the different place attachment sub-constructs. It presents their relationship to pro-environmental behavioural intention as a series of propositions. The framework further considers place satisfaction to exert a direct influence on visitors’ proenvironmental behavioural intentions in national parks and a moderating effect on the relationship between the different place constructs and pro-environmental behavioural intentions in parks. Finally, the latter construct is proposed to influence visitors’ general pro-environmental behavioural intentions. The paper’s theoretical contributions, its limitations and its practical implications for sustainable tourism in general and national park management in particular are discussed.
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