Concepts for understanding the visitor experience in sustainable tourism

Zachary D. Miller, William L. Rice, B. Derrick Taff, Peter Newman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Providing opportunities for visitor experiences is one of the core responsibilities of the sustainable tourism industry. However, understanding and managing the visitor experience is no easy task. These experiences arise from complex social-ecological conditions and are, broadly stated, co-created by both managers of and visitors to parks and conservation areas. In this chapter, we provide guidance for managers of sustainable tourism related to the management of visitor experiences using science-based practices. First, we define what the visitor experience is and discuss why managers of sustainable tourism should care about providing quality visitor experiences. Next, we describe core concepts that have framed the topic, including recreation experience preferences and outcomes-based management. Third, we detail the use of Management By Objectives frameworks for managing visitor experiences. Lastly, we discuss a variety of research gaps and provide suggestions for improving visitor use management and visitor experiences in an increasingly complex and uncertain future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Research Agenda for Sustainable Tourism
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781788117104
ISBN (Print)9781788117098
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


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