Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2011, Vol. 66 ›› Issue (12): 1695-1706.doi: 10.11821/xb201112010

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Study of Tourist Perception after the Special Natural Disaster: A Case Study of Jiuzhaigou after "5.12" Wenchuan Earthquake

LI Min1, ZHANG Jie1, DONG Xuewang1, ZHONG Shi'en1, CAI Yongshou2, SHANGGUAN Xiaoyan2   

  1. 1. Department of Land Resources and Tourism Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
    2. Jiuzhaigou World Heritage Administration, Jiuzhaigou 623402, Sichuan, China
  • Received:2011-03-02 Revised:2011-09-05 Online:2011-12-20 Published:2011-12-20
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171121

Abstract: To know tourists risk perception and impact of disasters on tourist behavior is the first step for post-disaster tourism market recovery and tourism industry relief. This study tried to explore the relationship among tourist risk perceptions, the perception of disaster's impact on destination, tourists satisfaction, and loyalty. Taking the Jiuzhaigou as the case study area, we conducted an on-site questionnaire survey with 572 domestic tourists visiting Jiuzhaigou, a world natural heritage in earthquake-hit area, in nearly one year after the massive "5.12" Wenchuan earthquake. Based on a structural equation modeling and analysis, some results can be obtained as follows. (1) The less tourists perceived risk, the less they perceived negative disaster's impact on destination;the less the perceived negative disaster's impact on destination, the higher level of satisfaction with the destination;and the higher the level of tourist satisfaction, the stronger the loyalty to the destination;vice versa. (2) It was not tourists' risk perception level but the perceived impact of disaster on destination had direct influence on tourist satisfaction. The loyalty to the destination was positively related with satisfaction during both post-disaster recovery and normal periods. This investigation also concluded that, except perceived negative disaster's impact on destination, tourists' risk perception, satisfaction and loyalty varied significantly by gender and age. Therefore, the strategic priority should focus on reconstructing the destination safety image and easing tourists' risk perception, especially for women and the youth. Finally, comprehensive management recommendations and suggestions have been put forward and discussed for tourist market recovery of disaster-hit destinations.

Key words: risk perceptions, perception of disasters impacts on tourism, satisfaction, 5.12 Wenchuan earthquake, domestic tourist, Jiuzhaigou