Galápagos National Park is iconic for its biodiversity, its role in evolutionary science and as a tourist destination. Over 200,000 tourists visit per year, leading to tension between development and environmental protection. One way to alleviate tourist pressure is to increase visitor understanding for conservation through environmental education, delivered through national park guides and interpretation centres. This study investigated tourist satisfaction with official national park guides and park facilities. A latent class model of nearly 9000 tourists indicated that older women on cruise tours who had planned their trips well in advance were most satisfied with both. Younger men on short, spontaneous land-based visits were more likely not to be satisfied. However, while creating tourist products to satisfy young men could provide short-term economic benefits, such strategies could have long-term disadvantages if they threaten the Galápagos wildlife that gives the islands a competitive advantage over other sites.
Zander, K., Saeteros, A., Orellana, D., Toral-Granda, M. V., Wegner, A., Izurietah, A., & Garnett, S. (2016). Determinants of tourist satisfaction with national park guides and facilities in the Galápagos. International Journal of Tourism Sciences, 16(1-2), 60-82. https://doi.org/10.1080/15980634.2016.1212596