2023 article

Making memories that matter: how do different recollections of an Antarctic tourism experience impact future conservation behavior?

Cajiao, D., Larson, L., Leung, Y.-F., & Reas, J. (2023, October 17). JOURNAL OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM.

By: D. Cajiao n, L. Larson n, Y. Leung n & J. Reas n

author keywords: Memorable experiences; transformation; reflective; snapshot; pro-environmental outcomes
Source: Web Of Science
Added: November 20, 2023

Antarctic tourism is increasing and diversifying leading to different types of experiences and memories. While the journey is considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience, little empirical research exists to understand memories’ formation and their influence on pro-environmental behavior intentions (PEBI). To explore these relationships, we used a mixed-method approach to analyze surveys collected from Antarctic tourists during 2019-2020. We identified two dimensions of memories that resulted in three distinct groups of tourists: the snapshot group likely to recall specific trip components, the reflective group likely to think and share about their experience, and the reflective & transformative group likely to indicate that their experience impacted them personally. We examined the relationships of these groups with experiential outcomes and PEBI. We found significant positive relationships, with the strongest outcomes in the reflective & transformative memory group. Our results suggest that tour operators have been effective at enhancing public awareness and conservation concerns by triggering reflective memories; however, there is still a need to effectively cultivate transformative memories. Through this exploratory research, we offer insights into specific actions that operators, guides, and travelers might consider for maximizing the memory-making experience and inspiring tangible outcomes regarding Antarctic conservation which might also translate into other tourism contexts.