Original Research

Determination of visitors’ intentions to revisit a natural history museum in a national park

Uwe P. Hermann, Tshifhiwa M. Nemaorani
Koedoe | Vol 65, No 1 | a1769 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v65i1.1769 | © 2023 Uwe P. Hermann, Tshifhiwa M. Nemaorani | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 April 2023 | Published: 07 November 2023

About the author(s)

Uwe P. Hermann, Centre for Sustainable Tourism, Faculty of Management Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Tshifhiwa M. Nemaorani, Research and Innovation, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

The Kruger National Park (KNP) is regarded as the flagship ecotourism destination in South Africa. It showcases unique fauna and flora and natural features and as an ecotourism attraction it also hosts a number of facilities that cater to visitors’ needs. One such facility is the Letaba Elephant Hall: a natural history museum located in the Letaba rest camp. The facility promotes education related to elephant biology, human–elephant relations, and conservation. Museums, require visitors to remain financially sustainable and to promote education and in the case of the Letaba Elephant Hall, to promote conservation. However, museums often have a negative connotation of being boring, with poor visitor engagement, and overly theoretical displays. These potentially poor experiences may influence visitor satisfaction, which, in turn, could affect the visitor’s post-visitation intentions. This study adopted the theory of planned behaviour and the expectancy-disconfirmation paradigm to conduct an exploratory quantitative survey to measure visitors’ experiences and how those experiences might influence their intentions to revisit the Letaba Elephant Hall. A total sample of 163 was achieved and results were analysed descriptively, followed by the development of binary categorisations. Chi-square tests were used to test the identified hypotheses, followed by multiple logistic regression to determine whether any significant relationships between variables exist.

Implications for conservation: The results provide an overview of the visitor profile and descriptive experience results, as well as an indication of significant relationships that exist between expectations, experiences, perceived quality, satisfaction, pleasure, and revisit intentions. Understanding who museum visitors are and managing their experiences are pivotal in ensuring that the efficient functioning of these facilities are carried out such as effective education, which in the case of the Letaba Elephant Hall, may result in authentic learning and the promotion of elephant conservation. The study provides insight into possible ways of enhancing the visitor experience at the Letaba Elephant Hall as a natural history museum, which could also be transferred to other similar interpretation centres in the KNP and other protected areas.

 


Keywords

interpretation centre; museum; national park; revisit intentions; visitor service quality

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