Determining Leisure Program Formats Based on Participant Preferences: A Case Study in Nature-based Education


  • Gilbert Sylvia
  • Christy Sallee
  • Helen Berry


Conjoint analysis, nature-based leisure, environmental education, program evaluation, stated preference, and choice.


This study examined the relationship between the structure of a nature-based education program and the program's potential popularity among different participants. Using conjoint analysis, the importance of a series of program attributes, including price, scheduling, and format, were measured to determine their relative impact on individual preferences and projected participation rates. These results were then applied to a series of hypothetical programs in order to consider implications for future program development. The results showed that program attributes could be divided into two groups based on their importance to participants. Primary attributes such as instructor skills and multiple activities were significant across subgroups of participants; secondary attributes, such as day offered and registration fee, varied in importance between subgroups. Results also showed potential for market management strategies that target programs toward a range of market segments. Conclusions focus on how alternative strategies can be combined to achieve audience composition, participation rates, and program structure that are consistent with an educational organization's mission.





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