Outer Banks Tourists' Preferences , Sensitivities , and Environmental Perceptions: A Case Study of Cape Hatteras National Seashore

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Logan M. McSherry (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site: http://www.ecu.edu/lib/

Abstract: Tourism is the driving economic force for North Carolina's Outer Banks , attracting millions of visitors every year. However , through the combined effects of increased human activity and development , storms , sea level rise , and climate change , portions of the island chain are disappearing. This study seeks to better understand why visitors choose the Outer Banks , how aware and concerned they are about environmental changes occurring there , and how that may affect their beach destination choice in the future. To address these questions , a survey of 137 visitors at Cape Hatteras National Seashore was undertaken. The relative sensitivity to seven environmental variables is considered and differences in perception among local and non-local beachgoers are compared. Analyses of scores and responses to survey questions show that scenery and uncrowded beaches are the primary reasons for choosing the Outer Banks , followed closely by location and accessibility. Visitors appear to be generally conscious of the changing environment there , with a majority of respondents saying they were aware of environmental changes at the Outer Banks prior to being surveyed. However , only half of respondents indicate experiencing effects from these changes during their visit. As such , respondents expressed environmental changes as having little to no effect on their decision to return , with over 95% claiming they will still recommend the Outer Banks and revisit in the future. For many , the fact that the Outer Banks remains relatively undeveloped compared to other East Coast beaches constitutes enough reason to return in spite of other changes.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Environmental Perception, Environmental Change, Marine and Coastal Resources, Tourism Geography, Coastal Tourism, Outer Banks

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TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
Outer Banks Tourists' Preferences , Sensitivities , and Environmental Perceptions: A Case Study of Cape Hatteras National Seashorehttp://hdl.handle.net/10342/6937The described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.