Voluntary environmental programs at an alpine ski area: influence of recreationists' knowledge, motivations, attachment, value orientations, and specialization Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/c534fr50k

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  • Voluntary environmental programs (VEPs) have been created to encourage companies to engage in behaviors that mitigate environmental impacts (e.g., recycling, emissions reduction). Many ski areas participate in the Sustainable Slopes Program, an initiative that promotes VEPs in the ski area industry. Past research has addressed the performance of VEPs in mitigating environmental impacts in this industry, but little is known about skier and snowboarder knowledge of VEPs, their motivations and future behaviors in response to these programs, and how other cognitions such as their environmental value orientations, activity specialization, and attachment to ski areas influence these motivations and behaviors related to VEPs. To address these knowledge gaps, data were obtained from surveys administered onsite to 429 skiers and snowboarders at the Mt. Bachelor ski area in central Oregon (United States) from January to March, 2010 (response rate = 89.7%). This ski area employs several managerial and operational VEPs to support environmental conservation and reduce emissions (e.g., recycling, renewable energy, bio-fuel transportation). Results showed, however, that few skiers and snowboarders were knowledgeable of these VEPs and motivated to visit this ski area because of these programs. Many respondents, however, intended to visit more often in the future if this ski area promotes and increases the number of VEPs. Respondents who were more knowledgeable of these VEPs and motivated to visit currently and in the future because of these programs were more likely to have a: (a) high amount of place attachment to this ski area, (b) stronger biocentric or environmental value orientations, and (c) high degree of specialization in skiing or snowboarding. Managers and operators can use these findings to inform communication and marketing of their environmental programs and performance to various clientele subgroups.
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