Empirical Study of Cangshan Global Geopark’s Tourism Development Planning based on Tourist Satisfaction

  • LI Zhang , 1, 2 ,
  • DUAN Xiaodi , 3, * ,
  • CAO Lei 1
  • 1. Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
  • 2. West Yunnan University of Applied Sciences, Dali, Yunnan 671000, China
  • 3. Dali Vocational and Technical College of Agriculture and Forestry, Dali, Yunnan 671000, China
*DUAN Xiaodi, E-mail:

LI Zhang, E-mail:

Received date: 2022-09-25

  Accepted date: 2023-03-02

  Online published: 2023-09-15

Supported by

The Applied Technology Research Project of Western Yunnan University in 2023(2023XJKY0010)


This study takes Cangshan UNESCO Global Geopark as an example, which takes the connection between tourism and economic departments as the starting point, adopts appropriate tourism development methods, and determines that tourists are one of the most important stakeholder groups in tourism development. Based on this, this study aims to explore the tourists’ cognition and support for the sustainable tourism development of Cangshan Global Geopark. In this study, a self-administered questionnaire survey method is used to construct the tourist satisfaction evaluation model of Mount Cangshan, and the tourist satisfaction of various scenic spots in Mount Cangshan is calculated and evaluated. The characteristics, tendency and purpose of tourists are studied. This result provides an effective reference for strengthening the construction of the characteristics of Cangshan scenic area and the management of tourists’ complaints. It can also help Cangshan scenic area plan tourism arrangements more reasonably, improve social service level and provide tourists with “zero defect” tourism products.

Cite this article

LI Zhang , DUAN Xiaodi , CAO Lei . Empirical Study of Cangshan Global Geopark’s Tourism Development Planning based on Tourist Satisfaction[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2024 , 15(2) : 510 -520 . DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2024.02.025

1 Introduction

Geoparks contain many geological heritage that have been incorporated into the comprehensive concept of protection, education and sustainable development created by UNESCO. The heritage based tourism industry has brought enormous economic benefits to geoparks, which in turn have stimulated the development of local economy. This study takes the tourists of Cangshan Global Geopark as the research object, and uses the concept of tourist comparison to investigate the differences between domestic and international tourist dimensions (tourism characteristics and tourism related variables). More specifically, this study aims to provide tourists’ acceptance of the tourism development of Cangshan Geopark, which helps to understand the ability of Cangshan Geopark to meet tourism needs.
In 2014, the number of tourists to Cangshan Geopark reached 9.1817 million and it reached 10.2757 million, 15.0773 million, 16.8745 million, and 18.886 million, respectively in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 (Li, 2022). In view of tourist arrivals’ fluctuation, this study takes tourist satisfaction and perception as two important factors to investigate the ability of tourist destinations to meet tourists’ needs and demands. The ability to meet tourists’ needs and demands can be regarded as the ability to meet tourism expectations, which is closely related to tourists’ recognition. Scenic area management is an important factor affecting tourists’ satisfaction, and tourists’ perception affects tourists’ outdoor experience in many aspects, especially the scenic area’s management of natural resources. In order to understand the tourists’ perception, their demand environment and the preferred environment in which they may play a more effective role should be taken into account to create a more participatory tourism process (Eder, 1999).
In order to explore the tourist satisfaction of Cangshan Geopark, the author compiled a survey questionnaire on scenic area tourist satisfaction. The research data was collected at the Geopark entrance, where the questionnaires were distributed to the respondents through face-to-face interviews. Before conducting the survey, detailed communication was conducted with the interviewees to ensure that they understood the research objectives and issues which can identify the target interviewees. The questionnaire was randomly distributed to visitors by random sampling.

2 Literature review

2.1 Geopark tourism development

Geopark is an important geological heritage area with a coherent management structure. The management department has formulated a sustainable economic development strategy. Currently established Global Geoparks usually create many employment opportunities for local residents and create economic benefits for them by developing sustainable tourism (Zhao and Zhao, 2009). The Geopark is a national protected area, containing many geological heritage of special importance, rarity or aesthetic appeal. Geoparks focus on geological heritage and geological landscape as part of a comprehensive concept of conservation, education and sustainable development.
Geoparks achieve their sustainable development goals through protection, education and tourism. They strive to protect important geological features, explore and display appropriate geoscience knowledge and methods. These goals are achieved through geological sites, museums, information centers, tour routes, tour guides, school classroom education, popular literature, maps, educational materials and exhibitions, and seminars. At the same time, Global Geoparks promote economic activities and sustainable development through geotourism. By attracting more and more tourists, they can promote tourism labels related to local natural heritage, promote local social and economic development. The construction of Global Geoparks encourages local enterprises and private owners to participate in the construction of geotourism and geological products. For example, the development and construction of Global Geoparks in Lesvos Petrochemical Forest Geopark in Greece, Beigua Geopark in Italy and Naturtejo Geopark in Portugal have involved a large number of local enterprises and individuals, and have achieved great success (Zhao and Zhao, 2003).

2.2 Significance and influencing factors of geopark tourism

At present, the development of tourism has brought innovative and exciting tourism products. Geoparks are one of the key development area. Geoparks are specific geological heritage areas with international significance, rarity or aesthetic appeal. The establishment of Global Geopark has three main goals, namely protection, education and sustainable development. The concept of “Global Geopark” refers to a protected area consisting of several selected geological, ecological, archaeological, cultural or historical sites. Designate a Global Geopark, focusing on the following main components: 1) Protection; 2) Infrastructure development related to tourism; 3) Utilize sustainable regional development strategies for socio-economic development (Cao and Guo, 2007). The introduction of geoparks is a new strategy to achieve sustainable development and further improve socio-economic status through participation of local communities in sustainable activities of geoparks. The construction and development of geoparks can improve the awareness of local communities on the importance of geological environment protection. The concept of geopark is a new model for regional sustainable development in environmental protection areas, and also an important way for local governments to participate in tourism development. Therefore, in order to achieve the sustainable development of geotourism, local residents must actively participate in the transformation process.
The participation of local communities, stakeholders and enterprises in tourism industry is crucial in the decision-making process and in achieving geoparks’ sustainable development. Participation in the former usually authorizes local residents to determine their own development goals and negotiates with them to determine their hopes and visions for the tourism industry. The development of geoparks can provide employment opportunities, promote local products, improve community welfare and promote the improvement of local infrastructure to stimulate local economic growth. Up to now, UNESCO has confirmed that 87 geoparks from 27 different countries have joined the global geopark network. Among these countries, only five Asian geoparks are listed as Global Geopark by UNESCO, including China (26 geoparks), Japan (5 geoparks), South Korea (1 geopark), Malaysia (1 geopark) and Vietnam (1 geopark).

2.3 Satisfaction of tourism products and tourist preferences

Although tourism is actually classified as a service industry, most scholars tend to describe tourism products as “products” rather than “services”. The term “service” is best used to describe product development within a specific service industry, however, tourism products and services are difficult to distinguish from each other. So far, there is no clear definition of tourism products. Tourism products can be defined as business activities carried out by individuals outside the familiar environment and services or processes to promote the tourism industry; In addition, tourism products may include natural and cultural resource management, facilities, infrastructure, accommodation and catering. From the marketing perspective, tourism products include any physical objects, services, places, organizations, or concepts that are open to the market and affect visitor satisfaction.
A fundamental feature of tourism products is that their quality should be measured to determine their price. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the quality of the products and provide suitable products that are relatively fixed in price; After all, quality is related to visitor satisfaction with tourism products (Feng and Wu, 2010). The quality of tourism products can only be determined by evaluating whether they meet visitors’ expectations. Different visitors expect different expectations, usually based on their previous experience and the price of the services provided. Tourist satisfaction is defined as a comprehensive assessment of the performance of the products or services provided, which involves certain characteristics of products or services in tourism related industries. In the process of providing the best service to visitors, service providers are constantly under pressure from visitors to provide personalized services that meet their expectations. With the continuous growth of tourism experience, tourists gradually realize that they have the right to define a meaningful experience process during their holiday based on their prior knowledge and experience learned in advance. Therefore, tourism service providers need to identify and understand the visitors’ needs. Tourism products must comply with the specifications and requirements previously formulated by visitors to ensure that they provided a meaningful experiences and meet visitors’ expectations. This aspect should be carefully considered, as the tourism market is not only a product based on nature, but also includes experience and visitor satisfaction.
Tourists will encounter a variety of tourism products at different destinations they visit, and the various products offered at different tourism destinations help provide different types of visitors with unforgettable experiences. Tourism product management is a system of management skills and activities, which is used to arrange and systematize tourism for specific tourism destinations. Related to this, tourism product management must involve scenic spots, convenience facilities, accessibility facilities, images and prices of products and services.
Different tourists have their own perceptions, needs, preferences, motivations and desires. Therefore, each tourist has his own preference for the tourism products they want. The three key factors of tourist preferences are desire, motivation and image (Liang, 2013). Generally speaking, tourists enjoy three types of tourism, namely adventure, culture and eco-related tourism. The literature on tourism categorizes several common characteristics of tourist preferences as follows: destination, companion, transportation, accommodation, entertainment, price, service, activity (adventurer or risk averse tourists) and tourism style (independent or group tourists). When measuring tourist preferences, the following criteria should also be considered: perceived risk, tourist experience, climate, quality, pricing, tourists’ familiarity with geographical location, destination area, time, money, health, novelty and stay time.
The factors that affect tourist preferences can be divided into two categories, namely internal factors (i.e. psychological, physical, social communication and exploration) and external factors (i.e. tangible factors-accommodation, local people’s attitude, security, price of activities or services provided, culture and historical resources; intangible factors-destination image and interests/expectations). Situational variables will affect tourist preferences, so the factors related to tourists’ characteristics also include the following aspects, namely age, income, gender, personality, education, cost, distance, nationality, risk, motivation, location, residence and time (Liu, 2014). In particular, tourist preferences are affected by the size of the tour group, the purpose of the tour, the duration of stay, location and type of accommodation, and the activities carried out during the tour.

3 Questionnaire and sampling

This research adopts the method of questionnaire survey to explore the tourist satisfaction of Cangshan Geopark. The questionnaire is divided into three parts: The first part puts forward questions on the background and tourism characteristics of visitors. In the second part, we investigated the visitors’ tourism tendency, their satisfaction with the tourism products provided by Cangshan Geopark and the reasons for their visit to Cangshan Geopark. Finally, the third part asks the visitors’ attitudes towards tourism activities and sustainable tourism development of the scenic area.
The respondents of the questionnaire are domestic and foreign tourists visiting Cangshan Geopark. The research data was collected at the entrance of the geological park, where questionnaires were distributed to respondents through face-to-face interviews. Before conducting the survey, the author made a detailed communication with the interviewees to ensure that they understand the research objectives and problems and were able to identify the target interviewees. The research adopted the method of random sampling, and randomly distributed the questionnaire to the visitors.
The survey was conducted in July 2019. According to the average number of tourists visiting Cangshan Geopark, July was selected for the survey. Since July covers school holidays, it is also a good month to ensure a balanced number of local and international respondents. This increases the number of local tourists and reduces the biases that may exist when selecting interviewees. According to the visitor arrival statistics of Cangshan Geopark, the number of international tourists is higher than that of local tourists. Among the 400 questionnaires distributed, 341 were valid, with a recovery rate of 85.25%.

4 Sample characteristic analysis

Table 1 provides the profiles of respondents. Among the 341 respondents, 47.5% were males and 52.5% were females. In terms of age, 37.2% of the respondents were between 21 and 30 years old, 22.3% were between 31 and 40 years old, 18.8% were between 41 and 50 years old, and 17.3% were over 51 years old. In terms of education background, most respondents (98.5%) have received formal education, while a few respondents (1.5%) have not received any formal education. Regarding employment status, the majority of respondents (62.4%) employed by the private sector, 17.6% worked in the government sector, 9.1% were students and 10.8% had other occupations. Regarding marital status, most respondents were married (61.9%), while 32.6% were single. In terms of nationality, most respondents were local tourists (45.5%), 23.4% were Asian tourists and 31.8% were western tourists.
Table 1 Profiles of respondents
Demographic data Category Frequency Percentage (%)
Gender Male 162 47.5
Female 179 52.5
Age (yr) 18-20 15 4.4
21-30 127 37.2
31-40 76 22.3
41-50 64 18.8
51 and older 59 17.3
No formal education 5 1.5
Formal education 336 98.5
Government civil servants 60 17.6
Private enterprise 213 62.4
Student 31 9.1
Other occupations 37 10.8
Marital status Single 111 32.6
Married 211 61.9
Other 19 5.6
Nationality Asia (Excluding China) 79 23.4
Western countries 107 31.8
Domestic 155 45.5
It can be seen from table 2 that the education level of international male visitors is slightly higher than that of domestic visitors. Further analysis indicates that the marital status of most international and domestic visitors is related to labor relations. The questionnaire also reveals the relationship between gender and income and employment, as well as the significant differences among gender, age structure and educational background (Xiong and Su, 2016). In addition, there were differences between visitors aged 18-40 years old and 41 year old and over.
Table 2 Visitor sociodemographic data
Sociodemographic data Nationality
Domestic International
Male Female Male Female
Educational background Below high school 48 70 43 27
Graduate and above 8 29 63 53
Working conditions Government departments 16 19 16 9
Private enterprise 39 45 74 55
Unemployed 1 35 16 16
Marital status Single 15 59 21 16
Married 35 34 82 60
Divorce 6 6 3 4
Age 30 and younger 19 61 26 36
31-50 26 30 54 30
51 and older 11 8 26 14
The survey results indicated that self-driving (63.87% domestic and 10.75% international) and public transport (36.13% domestic and 89.25% international) were the two most commonly modes of transportation used by visitors. Most visitors visited Cangshan in a small group (94.84% domestic and 85.48% International), while the rest started their trip to Cangshan alone (5.16% domestic and 15.52% International). Approximately 58.06% (the first visit accounted for 61.83%, the second visit accounted for 6.99%) of international visitors and 60.00% (the first visit accounted for 34.84%, the second visit accounted for 12.26%) of domestic visitors stayed in Cangshan for less than 3 hours, and the rest stayed in Cangshan for at least 3 hours. The main purpose of visiting Cangshan Geopark is to experience Mount Cangshan (39.30%) and enjoy the scenery (43.11%).
For the visit to Cangshan, 129 of the 341 visitors were influenced by the guide’s advice, rather than the advice of friends and/or relatives (57 of the 341 visitors), nor were they influenced by the tourist center (8 of the 341 visitors). That means Cangshan Geopark has not been well promoted. Further observation indicates that although female visitors visit Cangshan less frequently than male visitors, the female visitors: 1) Stay longer in Cangshan, 2) Record various visit purposes, and 3) Better understanding of Cangshan Geopark. At this point, they represent the potential to inspire and retain tourists. In addition, the observation result indicates that there is no significant relationship between the number of visitors who have visited Cangshan, live around Dali, have friends and/or relatives in Dali, and have property ownership in Dali. Therefore, this study aims to emphasize the importance of obtaining visitors’ vacation plans, and pay special attention to the schedule before and after Cangshan trip. This information may explain the frequency of visitors visiting Cangshan and the plan of time spent.

5 Model establishment and evaluation

Based on the survey data, a tourist satisfaction model has been established. By exploring the reasons for tourists visiting Cangshan Geopark, the impact of tourism activities and service facilities on tourists’ tourism decisions, the structural model of Cangshan Geopark’s eco-tourism activity satisfaction and service satisfaction has been obtained (Cheng et al., 2010).

5.1 Research methods

Tourists’ perception of specific products usually depends on individual needs, preferences, expectations and motivations. Preference lies between motivation and behavior. Therefore, tourist preference is defined as the behavior of choosing the most desired product from a series of choices, which is affected by individual motivation. Tourist preferences are usually related to personal decision-making, where it is a complex process with multiple interrelated factors (Zhao et al., 2016). Tourist preferences contribute to local economy growth. Therefore, obtaining more information about tourist preferences can provide useful insights for improving local infrastructure and amenities, as well as strengthening destination marketing (Zheng et al., 2017). The research explores the different tourist preferences for the activities and services provided by Cangshan Geopark, the research analyzes and understands the different preferences of tourists for ecotourism activities, as well as their satisfaction of tourists with the services and activities provided by Cangshan Geopark.
The questionnaire uses the Likert scale to measure tourists’ satisfaction with the activities and services provided by Cangshan Geopark (1=extremely dissatisfied, 2=dissatisfied, 3=unbiased satisfied, 4=satisfied, 5=very satisfied) (Yang et al., 2007). The data collected from the completed questionnaire was analyzed using the Social Science Statistics Package SPSS 20. Descriptive statistical analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to describe the demographic characteristics of tourists and measure their satisfaction (Yi and Fang, 2014). The satisfaction level of each project is determined by the average score and standard deviation of each project. The higher the average score, the higher the satisfaction.

5.2 Tourists visit reason analysis

The validation factors include the following dimensions: 1) the records of domestic tourists visiting Cangshan for the first time indicate that the results of “experiencing natural scenery” are the highest (n=95) and “mountaineering activities” are the lowest (n=79); 2) International tourists who first time visit Cangshan are mainly for the purpose of “experience the unspoiled nature” and “National Park” (n= 124), the lowest is to “experience service” (n=112); 3) Domestic repeat visitors mostly choose to “unique” and “mountaineering activities”(n=42 and n=31 respectively) and 4) most international repeat visitors choose to “experience the wilderness”(n=16), while “experience the undisturbed nature” has the least number of repeat visitors, and the variables of “experience service” and “mountaineering activities”(both n=13).
The chi-square test analysis shows that except for “natural scenery”, all other variables cannot meet the needs of the respondents [agree=survey result n(169)/expected N(68.2), very agree=survey result n(98)/expected N(68.2)] (Table 3). The comparison between variables indicates that since there is no “highly disagree” category, visitors are more likely to accept the “experience nature” variable (although the N values of other variables of the survey results are relatively small). Although the regression analysis indicated that the interpretation rate of the variable was less than 50% (the highest value was 45.2%), it was significant when the assumed variable was P=0.05 (excluding “cultural experience”). That is to say, the remaining 54.8% is explained by other factors. However, considering the predictive relationship between variables, the probability values between the three related variables indicate that other factors are affecting the variable relationship (54.8%). This also indicates that these variables should be further tested by a new model (composed of existing and new variables) in order to establish a more accurate conclusion.
Table 3 Reasons for visiting Cangshan Geopark
Reason Satisfaction Survey result Expected results Residuals
natural scenery
Extremely dissatisfied 2 68.2 266.2
Dissatisfied 6 68.2 262.2
Unbiased satisfied 66 68.2 22.2
Satisfied 169 68.2 100.8
Very satisfied 98 68.2 29.8
Extremely dissatisfied 3 68.2 265.2
Dissatisfied 17 68.2 251.2
Unbiased satisfied 59 68.2 29.2
Satisfied 199 68.2 130.8
Very satisfied 63 68.2 25.2
Dissatisfied 16 85.3 269.3
Unbiased satisfied 69 85.3 216.3
Satisfied 175 85.3 89.8
Very satisfied 81 85.3 24.3
Extremely dissatisfied 2 68.2 266.2
Dissatisfied 12 68.2 256.2
Unbiased satisfied 76 68.2 7.8
Satisfied 191 68.2 122.8
Very satisfied 60 68.2 28.2
The homogeneity of unspoiled natural environment, natural experience and cultural experience variables’ variance and mean value indicates that visitors have strong views on Cangshan’s ability to protect and develop its natural environment and cultural values (Guo et al., 2020). From the survey results, the probability value of the ‘natural scenery’ variable indicates an urgent need for pragmatic solutions and future development suggestions to improve the tourist satisfaction level. This will help to maintain the tourists’ loyalty, which in turn can drive the economic development around Cangshan Geopark (Zhao, 2011). From the perspective of economic interests, the service industry should not only focus on environmental issues and increase the tourists’ number, but also consider how to retain tourists.

5.3 Eco-tourism activities satisfaction analysis

Cangshan’s eco-tourism activities (Ximatan cableway, Qilongnvchi cableway, Gantong cableway, Cangshan western slope, Jizhaoan nunnery, huadianba dam, Yudai Road hiking) have attracted: 1) Domestic and international first-time visitors aged 21-30 years old; 2) Domestic repeat visitors aged 21-30 years old; and 3) International repeat visitors aged 31-40 years old. The first-time visitors tend to prefer the variables of Ximatan cableway (90 domestic visitors, 141 international visitors) and Qilongnvchi’s pool cableway (87 domestic visitors, 129 international visitors) rather than the online popular attractions: Jizhaoan nunnery (65 domestic visitors, 92 international visitors) and Huadianba (64 domestic visitors, 58 international visitors). In addition, the dissatisfaction of repeat visitors with all variables presents a normal distribution pattern. However, the research variables only explained 4.5% of the changes in the number of visits to Cangshan. This indicates that these attractions cannot be used as an attractive factor to maintain visitor loyalty (Qiu, 2012).
The variable of Ximatan cableway indicates 61.2% participation tendency in the activities that tourists can experience. In addition, the participation tendency values of Jizhaoan nunnery and Yudai Road hiking variables exceeded 50%. Interestingly, Qilongnvchi’s pool cableway activity recorded a positive correlation of over 64% of all variables’ propensity to participate.
Table 4 indicates the one-way ANOVA results of different tourist preferences based on tourism activities. It can be seen that all products provided by Cangshan Geopark (except the western slope of Mount Cangshan) have reached a significant level of P<0.01. This finding indicates that different tourists have different preferences for these activities. According to the average scores in Table 7, Western tourists have the highest enjoyment of all tourism activities provided by Cangshan Geopark, followed by Asian and domestic tourists. The highest average score of Western tourists is Yudai Road hiking (3.20), followed by Jizhaoan nunnery (2.98); The lowest is the western slope of Cangshan (2.75). For Asian tourists, the highest score is Jizhaoan nunnery (2.84), followed by Tianlong Babu hiking and Yudai Road hiking (2.77), and the lowest score is Gantong cableway (2.46). Similarly, domestic tourists give similar ratings for each activity provided. However, Yudai Road hiking has the highest score (2.55), while Qilongnvchi cableway and Ximatan cableway have the lowest score (2.32) (Cableways are often unavailable due to weather).
Table 4 Tourist preference one-way ANOVA of different tourism products
Eco-tourism activities F Sig.
Ximatan cableway 19.798 <0.001
Qilongnvchi cableway 17.245 <0.001
Gantong cableway 11.242 <0.001
Cangshan western slope 6.316 0.002
Jizhaoan nunnery 15.007 <0.001
Huadianba dam 11.598 <0.001
Yudai road hiking 13.135 <0.001
Table 5 indicates the ANOVA results of different tourist preferences related to the provided tourism activities. The results indicate that different tourists have different preferences for all activities (except adequate safety facilities and willingness to assist tourists), with significant differences (P<0.01).
Table 5 One way ANOVA of different tourist preferences related to the tourism products provided
Products provided Domestic Asia (Excluding China) Western countries
Average value Standard
Average value Standard
Average value Standard
Ximatan cableway 2.32 0.728 2.59 0.651 2.87 0.702
Qilongnvchi cableway 2.32 0.747 2.52 0.749 2.87 0.728
Gantong cableway 2.35 0.700 2.46 0.859 2.80 0.782
Cangshan western slope 2.35 0.819 2.47 1.011 2.75 0.922
Jizhaoan nunnery 2.35 0.945 2.84 1.031 2.98 0.942
Huadianba dam 2.34 0.784 2.61 0.775 2.81 0.837
Hiking in the direction of gantong temple 2.34 0.817 2.67 0.902 2.91 0.896
Hiking in the direction of tianlongbabu film and television city 2.33 0.831 2.77 0.862 2.97 0.841
Yudai road hiking 2.55 0.927 2.77 1.219 3.20 0.946

5.4 Cangshan Geopark’s service satisfaction analysis

The observation indicates four similar satisfaction level patterns. The first pattern includes: 1) International and domestic first-time visitors aged 21-30 years old; and 2) Internatio- nal repeat visitors aged 31-40 years old and domestic repeat visitors aged 21-30 years old. There are 11 variables (adeq- uate safety facilities, cheap entertainment activities, reasona- ble price, uncrowded and unspoiled environment, visual attraction, attractive and good conditions, provide accurate information, provide timely services for tourists, willing to assist tourists, willingness to assist tourists and understand the special needs of tourists) (Farsani et al., 2011). The second pattern is different from the first pattern because there are two groups of international repeat visitors (neat appearance of staff, timely provision of services, answer questions from tourists, provide more information about Cangshan Geopark and convenient operation time) (Gao, 2007). The third pattern involves domestic repeat visitors aged 21-30 years old who are dissatisfied with all variables except visual attractiveness and reasonable price (Peng and Li, 2008). Apart from visitors aged 21-30 years old, domestic repeat visitors aged 41 years old and over also refuse to accept visual attraction and reasonable price variables. The last pattern is related to the dissatisfaction of unrecorded non-domestic repeat visitors with all research variables.
The small probability values of “adequate safety facilities” and “reasonable price” variables can be regarded as the advantages and potential development factors of Cangshan. The variable “adequate safety facilities” recorded the highest survey result n (160) in the “satisfactory” category, while the variable “cheap entertainment activities” recorded the lowest survey result n (109) in the “most satisfactory” category. As can be seen from Table 6, the satisfaction of international visitors is higher than that of domestic visitors. The database indicates that preferences tend to choose 2 (satisfactory) for the following variables, namely 1) Adequate safety facilities; 2) Cheap entertainment activities; and 3) Reasonable price. In addition, similar satisfaction trends were observed for the remaining three variables; However, preference tends to choose 3 (most satisfactory). Despite the debate about the dependence of attitude on cultural background, the significant small percentage change recorded in the variables of visual attraction and neat appearance of staff (Ramsay, 2017) (Table 7) indicate that Cangshan is unable to achieve its concept, which in turn will affect the development expectations of the “tourist attraction engine”.
Table 6 Descriptive analysis of services provided by Cangshan Geopark
Factor Strategy Domestic Asia (Excluding China) Western countries
Average value Standard deviation Average value Standard deviation Average value Standard deviation
Facility Adequate safety facilities 2.37 0.766 2.53 0.676 2.57 0.754
Information center providing park related information 2.43 0.845 2.54 0.712 2.81 0.859
Price Cheap entertainment activities 2.39 0.801 2.67 0.873 2.79 0.869
Reasonable price 2.39 0.794 2.48 0.731 2.8 0.806
Natural Unspoiled environment 2.48 0.84 2.59 0.67 2.74 0.793
Visual attraction 2.52 0.856 2.77 0.678 2.79 0.736
Attractive and in good condition 2.50 0.856 2.48 0.714 2.72 0.724
Serve Neat appearance of staff 2.34 0.809 2.54 0.748 2.69 0.794
Provide timely services for tourists 2.50 0.825 2.49 0.677 2.73 0.831
Provide accurate information 2.49 0.809 2.48 0.638 2.79 0.801
Timely provision of services 2.46 0.839 2.54 0.676 2.84 0.826
Willing to assist tourists 2.57 0.821 2.62 0.666 2.74 0.828
Knowledge level of answering tourists’ questions 2.45 0.791 2.48 0.658 2.77 0.747
Answer questions from tourists 2.46 0.832 2.67 0.711 2.78 0.793
Provide more information about Cangshan geopark 2.46 0.832 2.51 0.714 2.81 0.802
Convenient operation time 2.43 0.813 2.59 0.707 2.82 0.833
Willingness to assist tourists 2.41 0.851 2.48 0.714 2.73 0.842
Understand the special needs of tourists 2.44 0.853 2.52 0.731 2.79 0.765
Table 7 Regression analysis results between nationality and research variables
Independent variable Results
Adequate safety facilities 1.4% of the changes in dependent variables were interpreted as independent variables
Cheap entertainment activities 4.1% of the changes in dependent variables were interpreted as independent variables
Reasonable price 2.9% of the changes in dependent variables were interpreted as independent variables
No crowding, no damage 1.6% of the changes in dependent variables were interpreted as independent variables
Visual attraction 2.9% of the changes in dependent variables were interpreted as independent variables
Employee performance 3.2% of the changes in dependent variables were interpreted as independent variables
According to calculations, each additional unit of “visual attraction” and “neat appearance of staff” variables will increase the number of predicted visits to Cangshan Geopark by 0.234 and 0.309 units. In addition, adding one unit of variables for “cheap entertainment activities” and “neat appearance of staff” will increase the estimated time schedule of 0.287 and 0.170 units in the Geopark. Although the probability value of the observation results is very low, it has been proven that strengthening Cangshan Geopark staff’s performance and management will help to improve tourists’ perception, decision-making of visiting Cangshan, and spend more time in Cangshan Geopark. Due to the fact that the tourism industry operates mainly through social networks and social interactions, this discovery directly translates into the necessity of providing comprehensive and balanced tourism services (Xu et al., 2011).
The interaction between service providers and tourists is to “capture the personality of the visiting environment”. Except for the variable of “willingness to assist tourists” (probability value is 0.171), the tourism related reception services in Cangshan have no significant impact on tourists. The low probability value is because 167 of 341 visitors believe that the service provided meets their satisfaction. Surprisingly, the satisfaction of international visitors tends to choose 3 (most satisfactory). In contrast, domestic visitors believe that Cangshan’s tourism related tourism services can hardly meet their needs, especially in providing personal attention (the upper limit is 2.55). Regression analysis indicates that the model can better explain the variable of “tourist problem response”. From the perspective of model, this can be regarded as the main basis for the study of independent variables (IVS) (Qiao, 2015). In short, the high probability value (82.3%) explained the significant relationship between each variable; Therefore, the model / data collection of visitor satisfaction and Cangshan reception was determined. In other words, the research results and models can be used in other studies related to tourist satisfaction.
The preferences of respondents in value and quality can be discussed from the perspective of specific situational characteristics, including “image and physical quality, brand, service and environmental perception”. Considering the significant relationship between visitors and the visits number, this may play an important role in influencing the research variables (excluding the variable of giving personal attention) (Zheng et al., 2017), because visitors may have a full understanding of Cangshan and its activities/events. The focus should be on the variables of “Information center providing park related information” (the highest survey satisfaction n=148, the lowest survey satisfaction n=126) and “neat appearance of staff” (the lowest survey satisfaction n=126). Although there is no correlation between “Information center providing park related information” and “gender”, it is observed that male visitors are more satisfied with tour services (Satisfactory≤40, most satisfactory≥50) than female visitors (Satisfactory≥50, most satisfactory≤50). It is emphasized that the provision of hospitality services adopts a non-gender biased method (as indicaten in Table 8).
Table 8 Cangshan Geopark provided services’ variance analysis
Factor Strategy F Sig.
Facility Adequate safety facilities 2.535 0.081
Information center providing park related information 7.116 0.001**
Price Cheap entertainment activities 7.743 0.001**
Reasonable price 8.987 <0.001
Nature Unspoiled environment 3.467 0.032*
Visual attraction 5.029 0.007**
Attractive and in good condition 3.116 0.046*
Service Neat appearance of staff 6.362 0.002**
Provide timely services for tourists 3.049 0.049*
Provide accurate information 5.495 0.004**
Timely provision of services 7.488 0.001**
Willing to assist tourists 1.386 0.252
Knowledge level of answering tourists’ questions 6.327 0.002**
Answer questions from tourists 5.176 0.006**
Provide more information about cangshan geopark 6.734 0.001**
Convenient operation time 7.846 <0.001
Willingness to assist tourists 4.888 0.008**
Understand the tourists’ special needs 6.120 0.002**

Note: **P<0.01, *P<0.05.

Table 8 indicates the results of one-way ANOVA of services provided by Cangshan Geopark. The services provided by Cangshan Geopark were significantly different (P<0.05). However, in terms of safety facilities and willingness to assist tourists, there was no significant difference, which did not reach the level of P<0.05.

6 Research results analysis and enlightenment

6.1 Research results analysis

The research adopts the method of questionnaire survey to collect data in order to obtain new feedback from tourists who have experienced activities and services. The purpose of this survey is to measure the tourists’ satisfaction based on their experience after enjoying the activities or services provided by Cangshan Geopark (Li, 2007).
According to the descriptive analysis of Cangshan Geopark service satisfaction, Yudai Road has the highest average score, making it considered to be the most satisfactory activity. The research has indicaten that there is a significant positive correlation between tourists’ satisfaction with the tourism products of Cangshan Geopark and their purchase intention. Satisfied tourists are most likely to provide positive feedback and are most likely to become regular visitors. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure to all relevant parties that the best quality existing activities and services are provided to tourists to continuously meet their needs. This guarantee will further affect the loyalty of tourists and ultimately have a positive impact on the tourism destination (Tan et al., 2011). Satisfied visitors tend to publicize the destination and the available activities or services which they have experienced before to potential contacts. This experience sharing reflects the positive image of tourism destination, while also enhancing their marketability by promoting them with other potential visitors (Luo and Hu, 2012). A tourist destination is a collection of personal products and experiences, that come together to form a comprehensive and meaningful experience in the region to further meet the needs of tourists. Some characteristics of tourism products can affect visitors’ judgment on whether to purchase the product.
The results confirm the relationship between tourist preference and tourists’ background. It is found that the demographic characteristics of tourists directly affect tourist preferences. The results also confirm the results of other similar studies—the demographic profile of tourists seems to be related to tourist preferences. Each tourist has his own unique preference, and each individual is different in essence and upbringing. Tourist preference for a specific product usually depends on personal needs, preferences, expectations and motivation.

6.2 Enlightenment and suggestion

The tourism industry is constantly developing worldwide, especially in domestic. The research referred to previous research results and tourism literature, defined tourism products, and examined the relationship between tourists’ satisfaction with activities and services provided by Cangshan Geopark. Descriptive analysis and one-way ANOVA found that there were significant differences in gender and satisfaction of the respondents. Therefore, there is a certain relationship between tourists’ satisfaction with the tourism activities of Cangshan Geopark and their purchasing tendencies.
Tourism products extend to the services and activities provided by tourists during the tourism destination. The results indicate that most tourists prefer hiking on the Yudai Road (average score=2.80), because it achieved the highest satisfaction compared with other types of activities. Regarding tourists’ satisfaction with the services provided, they seem to be most satisfied with the visual attraction and attractiveness of the natural scenic spot services provided during the travel period, as it achieved the highest average score (average score=2.66). The demographic characteristics, experiences, expectations and emotions of tourists in the process of ordering tourism products have a positive impact on their satisfaction.
It should be noted that: 1) Cangshan scenic area cannot further maintain the loyalty of visitors, especially those who have visited Cangshan more than three times; 2) Male visitors are more likely to be satisfied with the scenic spots and services provided by Mount Cangshan.
In view of this, a practical public relations method is becoming increasingly urgent, and more attention should be paid to: 1) The marketing environment and marketing functional departments of scenic area. The future development should emphasize the image of information center, and pay special attention to searching, collecting and analyzing information about the organization’s external environment, the protection and development of Mount Cangshan; 2) Integrating and analyzing geographic information of scenic spots using surveying and mapping technology; 3) The business strategy for implementing comprehensive development of various activities includes Ximatan Cableway, Qilongnvchi Cableway, Gantong Cableway, Cangshan western slope, Jizhaoan nunnery, Huadianba, and Yudai Road hiking; 4) Effectively monitoring natural environmental data management; 5) Adopt solutions/methods related to tourists’ psychological activities.
Therefore, it is necessary to further evaluate the tourism development of Cangshan Scenic Area from the perspectives of framework planning (subdivision, planning and positioning), public relations and internal marketing (demand, pricing and sales). More importantly, Cangshan’s development strategy should be based on three general strategies: cost, differentiation and focus. This method can be further improved by using the budget system. The industry also advocates participatory budgeting for profitability and cost control (Zhao et al., 2016).
According to the empirical analysis results of tourist satisfaction, the research suggests that the Geopark tourism development plan should be properly adjusted and implemented step by step:
(1) In the medium and long-term development, the management department of the geological park needs to further improve the tourism infrastructure construction of Cangshan Geopark, making it be a truly Global Geopark. In the medium-and long-term development, we will carry out in-depth construction to make it be a first-class Global Geopark in China and a world-famous Global Geopark, and achieve sustainable development.
(2) By conducting geoscience tourism, the industrial structure in the park should be adjusted reasonably, which needs to control the visitor flows, production, and living range in the park. The protection awareness of community residents needs to be improved, and the management department needs to actively support and encourage community residents to participate in the development and construction of the park to improve the living standards of the local community and drive the economic development of the community (Jiang, 2004).
(3) The management department needs to control the tourism development activities in the geological heritage tourist area in the park, dismantle the buildings and facilities that are not in harmony with the landscape, and pay attention to maintaining the original artistic conception and style; Restrict activities that are not conducive to the protection of geological heritage landscape.
(4) The growth of tourist numbers should be controlled within the allowable range of environmental capacity to form a Global Geopark with beautiful scenery and pleasant environment. The growth mode of tourism revenue should shift from the scale efficiency of the growth of tourist number growth to the improvement of unit economic efficiency. It should be realized by increasing tourism projects, enriching tourism content, increasing tourist stay time and promoting tourism consumption. Make geopark tourism be an important economic pillar industry in the local area.
(5) Geological park scenic areas need to provide various forms of education and interpretation, so that tourists can fully understand and appreciate the value and cultural connotation of the park landscape resources.
(6) Scenic areas need to accelerate the development of Bai culture and ecological sightseeing tourism products to enrich tourism content.
(7) Scenic areas need to establish a geopark management system where the government and enterprises mutually restrict, promote each other, and strengthen the construction of infrastructure and safety protection facilities.
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