Evaluation of Interpretation and Experiencescape Strategies for Mitigating Risk

Authors

  • Kelli K. McMahan Baylor University
  • Gary D. Ellis Texas A&M University
  • Christopher J. Wynveen Baylor University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18666/JPRA-2023-11740

Keywords:

Risk mitigation, interpretation, experiencescape, risk behaviors×

Abstract

Managers use numerous strategies to mitigate risk. Interpretation educates visitors and thereby facilitates decisions about risk. Experiencescape strategies redirect visitors’ attention from high-risk features by broadening the scope of activity opportunities. We created simulated hikes under different interpretation and experiencescape scenarios to evaluate effects on the probability of visitors engaging in risk behavior at a natural attraction with significant environmental risks. Four hundred six adults interested in outdoor recreation participated in the simulation. The risk context was the Big 4 Ice Caves trail at Washington State’s Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Managers sought to reduce the number of people approaching, entering, or climbing on the ice caves. Prompted by on-site studies previously conducted, we created video simulated hikes with five strategies for mitigating risk that systematically varied (present or absent) including: a) new terminus design, b) signage telling the story of the formation

Author Biographies

Gary D. Ellis, Texas A&M University

Gary Ellis is Professor and Bradberry Chair in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences in the Texas A&M University System. He served two terms as Department Head from 2008 through 2016 and was appointed Bradberry Chair in May of 2017. Dr. Ellis served on the faculty of Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah from 1985 through 2008. His appointment included 12 years as department chair (1994-2006). He was assistant professor at Western Kentucky University faculty from 1983-1985.

 

Dr. Ellis holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Texas (1983) and masters and baccalaureate degrees in Recreation and Park Administration from the University of Kentucky (1979) and Eastern Kentucky University (1978), respectively. He is a Fellow in the Academy of Leisure Sciences, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, and the World Leisure Organization. Among the many leadership positions he has served are President of the Academy of Leisure Sciences; President of the Society of Park and Recreation Educators; Treasurer of the Academy of Leisure Sciences; Vice-Chair of the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions; and Board member of the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration. In local service roles, he has served as treasurer of the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, board member on the Mayor’s Council on Physical fitness, and University of Utah representative to the Utah State University Tourism Advisory Board.

 

Dr. Ellis is recipient of numerous awards. Prominent among these are the Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt Research Award, which is the highest recognition for scholarship recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association, the Society of Park and Recreation Educators’ Distinguished Colleague Award, and the Utah Outstanding Professional Award. Dr. Ellis is also recipient of institutional awards for excellence in research and administration, including outstanding Department Head.

 

Dr. Ellis’ current research focuses on structuring immediate experiences for youth, tourists, and other recreationists. Well-structured experiences yield value, loyalty, advocacy, and repeat visitation. In the instance of youth development, structured experiences may be transformative. Dr. Ellis has an extensive history of publications, scientific presentations, workshops, and keynote addresses on immediate experiences. He has generated over four million dollars of funding through, contracts, grants, innovative projects, and collaborative initiatives with managers in different sectors of the experience industries.

Christopher J. Wynveen, Baylor University

Dr. Chris Wynveen is Associate Professor at Baylor University.  His research focuses on the human dimensions of natural resource management. Specifically, I have a continuing interest in the meanings recreational visitors' ascribe to parks and other protected areas. I use place meaning to refer to the thoughts and feelings people hold for specific settings. The concept provides the foundation for understanding other constructs important to the human-environment relationships (e.g. sense of place and place attachment) and the sustainable management of protected areas (e.g. relationships between various resource uses and recreation users, community stakeholder involvement, and collaborative management).

References

References

Abrams, K. M., Leong, K., Melena, S., & Teel, T. (2020). Encouraging safe wildlife viewing in

national parks: Effects of a communication campaign on visitors’ behavior. Environmental Communication, 14(2), 255-270.

Addiss, D. G., & Baker, S. P. (1989). Mountaineering and rock-climbing injuries in US national

parks. Annals of emergency medicine, 18(9), 975-979.

Bentler, P. M., Jackson, D. N., & Messick, S. (1971). Identification of content and style: a two-

dimensional interpretation of acquiescence. Psychological Bulletin, 76, 186-204.

Bitgood, S. (2000). The role of attention in designing effective interpretive labels. Journal of

Interpretation Research, 5(2), 31-45.

Burke, M. (2022). Hiker falls nearly 700 feet to his death attempting a selfie in Arizona

state park. NBC News. Retrieved from https://www.backpacker.com/trips/trips-by-national-park/grand-canyon-national-park/hiker-falls-50-feet-to-his-death-in-grand-canyon-national-park/

Chen, Z. (2018). An experiencescape approach to tourist experiences of intangible cultural

heritage: the case of Macau.

Chen, Z., Suntikul, W., & King, B. (2020). Constructing an intangible cultural heritage

experiencescape: The case of the Feast of the Drunken Dragon (Macau). Tourism Management Perspectives, 34, 100659.

Chen, Z., Suntikul, W., & King, B. (2020). Research on tourism experiencescapes: The journey

from art to science. Current Issues in Tourism, 23(11), 1407-1425.

Cherry, C., Leong, K. M., Wallen, R., & Buttke, D. (2018). Risk-enhancing behaviors associated

with human injuries from bison encounters at Yellowstone National Park, 2000–2015.

One Health, 6, 1-6.

Clark, D. (2003). Polar bear-human interactions in Canadian national parks, 1986-2000. Ursus, 65-71.

Coleman, T. H., Schwartz, C. C., Gunther, K. A., & Creel, S. (2013). Grizzly bear and human interaction in Yellowstone National Park: an evaluation of bear management areas. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 77(7), 1311-1320.

Fears, D. & Eilperin, J. (2019). Three dead in national park system accidents as shutdown wears on. The Washington Post. published online 5 Jan, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2019/01/04/three-dead-national-parks-shutdown-wears/

Forrester, J. D., Tran, K., Tennakoon, L., & Staudenmayer, K. (2018). Climbing-related injury

among adults in the United States: 5-year analysis of the National Emergency Department Sample. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, 29(4), 425-430.

Fossgard, K., & Fredman, P. (2019). Dimensions in the nature-based tourism experiencescape: An explorative analysis. Journal of outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 28, 100219.

Fraser, M. L., & Meuleners, L. B. (2020). Getting back on the bike: Participation in cycling after a hospitalisation crash. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 146, 105726.

Ghiglieri, M.P. & Myers, T.M. (2016). Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon. Puma Press:

Flagstaff, Arizona.

Gstaettner, A., Rodger, K., & Lee, D. (2021). Managing Visitor Risk in National Parks. In

Tourist Health, Safety and Wellbeing in the New Normal (pp. 389-409). Springer, Singapore.

Gstaettner, A. M., Rodger, K., & Lee, D. (2021). Managing the safety of nature? Park visitor

perceptions on risk and risk management. Journal of Ecotourism, 1-20.

Hall, T. E., Ham, S. H., & Lackey, B. K. (2010). Comparative evaluation of the attention capture

and holding power of novel signs aimed at park visitors. Journal of interpretation

research, 15(1), 15-36.

Ham, S. (2007, March). Can interpretation really make a difference? Answers to four questions from cognitive and behavioral psychology. In Proceedings, Interpreting World Heritage Conference, March (pp. 25-29).

Heggie, T. W., & Amundson, M. E. (2009). Dead men walking: search and rescue in US National Parks. Wilderness & environmental medicine, 20(3), 244-249.

Heggie, T. W. (2008). Search and rescue in Alaska's national parks. Travel medicine and

infectious disease, 6(6), 355-361.

Heggie, T. W., & Heggie, T. M. (2009). Search and rescue trends associated with recreational

travel in US national parks. Journal of travel medicine, 16(1), 23-27.

Hung, E. K., & Townes, D. A. (2007). Search and rescue in Yosemite National Park: a 10-year

review. Wilderness & environmental medicine, 18(2), 111-116.

Juster, F. T. (1966). Consumer buying intentions and purchase probability: An experiment in

survey design. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 61(315), 658– 696. https://doi.org/10.1080/01621459.1966.10480897

Kogut, K. T., & Rodewald, L. E. (1994). A field survey of the emergency preparedness of wilderness hikers. Journal of Wilderness Medicine, 5(2), 171-178.

Kortenkamp, K. V., Moore, C. F., Miller, E. M., & Truell, K. V. (2021). DANGER! NO HIKING! Risky hiking decisions, framing of normative warning messages, and self-exempting beliefs. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 35, 100415.

Kuo, I. L. (2002). The effectiveness of environmental interpretation at resource‐Sensitive tourism destinations. International Journal of Tourism Research, 4(2), 87-101.

Lackey, B., Ham, S., & Hall, T. (2002). Tests of perceived risk and attention paying to bear safety signs in Yosemite National Park. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho Department of Resource Recreation and Tourism.

Lundberg, C., Lindström, K., & Lexhagen, M. (2014). Broadening the Experience/Servicescape Concepts: Evidence from Popular Culture Destination. In 23rd Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research. University of Surrey.

Manning, R. E., Anderson, L. E., & Pettengill, P. (2017). Managing outdoor recreation: Case studies in the national parks. Cabi.

Mason, P. (2005). Visitor management in protected areas: From ‘hard’to ‘soft’approaches?.Current Issues in Tourism, 8(2-3), 181-194.

Mclennan, J. G., & Ungersma, J. (1983). Mountaineering accidents in the Sierra Nevada. The American journal of sports medicine, 11(3), 160-163.

Miles, A. (2019). Cause of Death: Selfie. Outside Magazine. https://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/news-analysis/selfie-deaths/

Miller, Z. D., Freimund, W., & Blackford, T. (2018). Communication Perspectives About Bison Safety in Yellowstone National Park: A Comparison of International and North American Visitors. Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, 36(1).

Morgan, K. (2021, June 23). Search and rescue team asks people to prepare for anything when headed outdoors. Office of Communication, USDA Forest Service. https://www.fs.usda.gov/features/search-and-rescue-team-asks-people-prepare-anything-when-headed-outdoors

Morwitz, V. G., & Munz, K. P. (2020). Intentions. Consumer psychology review, 4(1). 26-41.

https://doi.org/10.1002/arcp.1061

Mossberg, L. (2007). A marketing approach to the tourist experience. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 7(1), 59-74.

National Research Council. 1989. Improving risk communication. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Orams, M. B. (1996). Using interpretation to manage nature-based tourism. Journal of sustainable tourism, 4(2), 81-94.

Parent, L. (2010). Death in Big Bend: True Stories of Death & Rescue in Big Bend National Park. Iron Mountain Press:

Park, L. O., Manning, R. E., Marion, J. L., Lawson, S. R., & Jacobi, C. (2008). Managing visitor impacts in parks: A multi-method study of the effectiveness of alternative management practices. Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, 26(1).

Rammstedt, B., Goldberg, L. R., & Borg, I. (2010). The measurement equivalence of Big Five factor markers for persons with different levels of education. Journal of Research in Personality, 44, 53-61.

Rickard, L. N. (2014). Mountains and handrails: Risk, meaning, and responsibility in three national parks. Environmental Communication, 8(3), 286-304.

Rickard, L. N., & Newman, S. B. (2014). Accidents and accountability: Perceptions unintentional injury in three national parks. Leisure Sciences, 36(1), 88-106.

Rickard, L., McComas, K., & Newman, S. (2011). Visitor proficiency profiling and risk communication at a national park. Environmental Communication, 5(1), 62-82.

Rickard, L. N., Scherer, C. W., & Newman, S. B. (2011). Exploring attribution of responsibility for visitor safety in a US national park. Health, Risk & Society, 13(6), 527-545.

Ruiter, R. A., Abraham, C., & Kok, G. (2001). Scary warnings and rational precautions: A review of the psychology of fear appeals. Psychology and Health, 16(6), 613-630.

Schwartz, F., Taff, B. D., Lawhon, B., & VanderWoude, D. (2018). Mitigating undesignated trail use: The efficacy of messaging and direct site management actions in an urban-proximateopen space context. Environmental Management, 62(3), 458-473.

Saunders, R., Weiler, B., Scherrer, P., & Zeppel, H. (2019). Best practice principles for communicating safety messages in national parks. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 25, 132-142.

Schwartz, F., Taff, B.D., Lawhon, B. & VanderWoude, D. (2018) Mitigating Undesignated Trail Use: The Efficacy of Messaging and Direct Site Management Actions in an Urban-Proximate Open Space Context. Environmental Management, 62, 458–473.

Stephens, B. D., Diekema, D. S., & Klein, E. J. (2005). Recreational injuries in Washington State National parks. Wilderness & environmental medicine, 16(4), 192-197.

Thorndike, E. L. (1920). A constant error in psychological ratings. Journal of applied psychology, 4(1), 25.

Veidt, Emma. (2021). Hiker Falls to His Death in the Grand Canyon as a Deadly Year Continuesat the Park. Outside Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.backpacker.com/trips/trips-by-national-park/grand-canyon-national-park/hiker-falls-50-feet-to-his-death-in-grand-canyon-national-park/

Weiler, B., Gstaettner, A. M., & Scherrer, P. (2021). Selfies to die for: A review of research on self-photography associated with injury/death in tourism and recreation. Tourism Management Perspectives, 37, 100778.

Weijters, B., Baumgartner, H., & Schillewaert, N. (2013). Reverse item bias: An integrative model. Psychological Methods, 18, 320-334.

Whittlesey, L. H. (2014). Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and foolhardiness in the first national park. Roberts Rinehart. https://www.fs.usda.gov/features/search-and-rescue-team-asks-people-prepare-anything-when-headed-outdoors

Wigginton, C. (2019, May 2). String of Grand Canyon fatalities isn’t unusual, officials say, no changes planned. Cronkite News Arizona PBS. Retrieved from https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2019/05/02/grand-canyon-safety/

Wilks, J. (2017). Tourism and aquatic safety: No lifeguard on duty—Swim at your own risk. Tourism in marine environments, 12(3-4), 211-219.

Winter, P. L., Sagarin, B. J., Rhoads, K., Barrett, D. W., & Cialdini, R. B. (2000). Choosing to encourage or discourage: Perceived effectiveness of prescriptive versus proscriptive messages. Environmental Management, 26(6), 589-594.

Yosemite Search and Rescue. Retrieved from Yosemite Search and Rescue

Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/hiker-slips-and-falls-into-the-middle-cascades-of-yosemite-falls.htm

Published

2023-04-15

Issue

Section

Regular Papers