Perceived benefits of parks: the roles of information source exposure and park use

W. Glen Croy, Brent D. Moyle, Char-lee J. Moyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Parks provide many benefits to society: environmental, social and economic, and need investment to continue to provide these benefits. An alternative to self-financing and commercial approaches involves building the public’s perception of park benefits as a foundation for consequent investment by government. However, there is little empirical evidence to demonstrate public perceptions of benefits. We utilised a survey in Australia (n = 1,584) to investigate whether respondents’ perceptions of the benefits of parks are determined by information source and park use. The results suggest that users and non-users of parks who are exposed to a variety of information sources and more frequent use have a higher perception of parks’ benefits. Variety of information source was the primary explanation for positive perceptions of park benefits. In order to maximise public benefit-perceptions, communication between information providers needs to be coordinated and consistently implemented. Depending on the societal-benefit profile required, combining communication strategies with park use, including through tourism, would optimise efforts to build and sustain societal-benefit perceptions. We anticipate that this research will assist in developing park agencies’ confidence in implementing benefit-perception strategies, thereby furthering the public’s support for conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1742
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • conservation investment
  • park benefits
  • perception
  • personal benefits
  • protected areas
  • Societal benefits

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