Presenter Bios

Jacob Jorgenson is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Montana. His research interests fall within nature-based tourism, sustainable tourism, and visitor behavior. Most recently, his dissertation research took place in Yellowstone National Park investigating visitor support for the park.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the role that autobiographical memory plays in explaining how people become attached to tourism destinations. Autobiographical memory is an innovative method adopted from psychology which comprises the personal recollections individuals have of experiences and events. Furthermore, place attachment is a long-standing concept in tourism that identifies the emotional connection people have with places. Through an on-site visitor survey and a mail-back follow-up, 2,216 mail-back surveys were given to Yellowstone National Park visitors with 802 completed surveys (36 percent response rate). A structural equation model between autobiographical memory and place attachment indicated a significant, positive relationship between the strength of a visitor’s autobiographical memory salience and their level of place attachment. Thus, this model can be used forward in tourism research to identify how travelers form an attachment to the destination.

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Attachment to tourism destinations: The role of memory and place attachment

The purpose of this study was to explore the role that autobiographical memory plays in explaining how people become attached to tourism destinations. Autobiographical memory is an innovative method adopted from psychology which comprises the personal recollections individuals have of experiences and events. Furthermore, place attachment is a long-standing concept in tourism that identifies the emotional connection people have with places. Through an on-site visitor survey and a mail-back follow-up, 2,216 mail-back surveys were given to Yellowstone National Park visitors with 802 completed surveys (36 percent response rate). A structural equation model between autobiographical memory and place attachment indicated a significant, positive relationship between the strength of a visitor’s autobiographical memory salience and their level of place attachment. Thus, this model can be used forward in tourism research to identify how travelers form an attachment to the destination.