International visitor attitudes to Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Nepal
This study was done in Sagannatha (Mt. Everest) National Park (SNP), Nepal over a period of two months - December, 1991 and January, 1992. Sagarmatha National Park is a prime destination for many of the tourists who visit Nepal. It is a World Heritage Site and thus has great importance for conservation as well as for tourism. The success of the tourism industry depends on visitor satisfactions with their visits to these destinations. The success of SNP as a conservation area is equally dependent on visitor appreciation and sensitivity in terms of their activities while in the Park. This study explores visitor reasons for visiting SNP, visitor satisfaction with their visit to the Park and the local beliefs about the visitors. Data for this research were collected from the SNP visitors and local residents through questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews. Due to field constraints, true random sampling was not possible. Trekking, viewing scenery, Mt. Everest and Sherpa culture were the main visitor reasons (motivations) for visiting SNP. Visitors reported "highly achieved" for each of these and thus were highly satisfied with their visit to SNP. It does not negate the fact that tourism brings with it many problems. In SNP rubbish and firewood were seen to be the major problems. Among the locals, lack of knowledge and awareness were seen as being the major drawbacks in trying to solve these problems. Visitors indicated a number of other issues which they felt needed improvement such as rubbish disposal, hygiene, sanitation and the quality of drinking water. These issues were not perceived as lessening visitor satisfactions as visitors indicated that they expected these conditions. This information points out that anticipated expectations of a destination were the determinant of the actual satisfaction. Visitors rated most of the SNP hotel/lodge facilities as "reasonable" or higher but in their comments and in-depth interviews they commented about needed improvements. Visitors evaluated these facilities in terms of what they anticipated not what they thought the facilities should be.... [Show full abstract]
KeywordsKhumbu; Sagarmatha National Park; tourism impacts; visitor motivations; local people; visitor satisfaction; sherpas; national park; visitor attitudes; visitor expectations; Nepal; sense of place
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