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International Perspectives on Destination Management and Tourist Experiences

Insights from the International Competence Network of Tourism Research and Education (ICNT)

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Edited By Michael Lück, Jarmo Ritalahti and Alexander Scherer

The International Competence Network of Tourism Research and Education (ICNT) covers various areas of research. ICNT’s fourth book offers insights of tourism experts with a wide range of interest and expertise on the way tourism is understood and worked in different countries around the world. The first part of this volume focuses on factors influencing the management of tourism destinations, including competition, controlling, and marketing. An in-depth view into tourist experiences is offered in the second part, with examples ranging from volcano tourism to national park and wildlife tourism, and gastronomic experiences.

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Expectations for a Volcano Tourism Experience: Visitor Perspectives at Mount Pinatubo, Philippines

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1.   Introduction

Despite the risks, tourism in volcanic environments is an emerging form of special interest tourism (SIT; Erfurt-Cooper, 2011). The popularisation of this phenomenon, known as volcano tourism, is reflected in visitor numbers to some of the world’s most famous volcanic destinations. For example, in the US there were 3,447,729 visitors to Yellowstone National Park; 1,483,928 visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; and 1,049,178 visitors to Mount Rainier National Park for the year 2012 alone (National Park Service, 2014a, 2014b, 2014c). The Philippines, known for its islands and beaches, is abundant with volcanic attractions because the country is located at the Pacific Ring of Fire1 (Edelmann, 2010). Although the total number of volcano tourists in the Philippines is currently unknown, volcanoes are featured as some of the country’s main nature-based attractions.

It has been implied that the boost in tourist influx to volcanic destinations is partly due to the increase in frequency of volcanic eruptions, the exposure of these geological events by traditional and social media, and the improved accessibility of volcanic sites through low-cost flights and better physical infrastructure (Erfurt-Cooper, 2014). As an SIT, volcano tourism, or travel to view volcanoes, is one of the manifestations of the diversification of tourism product offerings as a response to the negative effect of mass tourism such as the usual ‘sun-sea-sand’ holidays (Sharpley, 2006). Nowadays, it is asserted that tourists’ perceptions of high quality trips are those that are...

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