Thanam Subramaniam, Zaiton Samdin, Sridar Ramachandran & Puvaneswaran Kunasekaran
Place attachment plays a key role in determining tourist satisfaction and pro-environmental behaviour to sustain an ecotourism destination. Place attachment refers to the emotional bonding or engagement between an individual and a particular environmental setting. It influences what a tourist sees, thinks and feels about the place and destination visited. Even though the place attachment concept has been explored in different perspectives, it is yet to be fully examined together with pro-environmental behavioural intentions, especially in the ecotourism context. Thus, this study aims to analyse the influence of place attachment on the pro-environmental behavioural intentions of ecotourists in Taman Negara National Park (TNNP), Pahang. A survey was carried out among 387 local and international ecotourists in TNNP, Pahang to examine the relationship between the four dimensions of place attachment (including place identity, place affects, place dependence and place social bonding) on ecotourist behaviour. The results suggest that only place dependence and place identity significantly influence pro-environmental behavioural intentions; while none of these dimensions has a significant relationship with ecotourist’s actual pro-environmental behaviour. Future research should explore the mediating and moderation effects of the socio-demographic profile of ecotourists on the relationship between place attachment and behavioural intention in different ecotourism sectors.
Keywords: Ecotourist, place attachment, behavioural intention, Taman Negara National Park (TNNP)