Date of Graduation
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Forest Resource Management
Exploring the connection between urban forests and urban tourism has not been given much attention in recent investigative efforts. This study is designed to describe, explore and explain the specific elements where these two fields converge. There is no better vehicle to do this than by eliciting data from people, who are collectively, the beneficiaries and clientele of these entities. Therefore, a face-to-face survey, spanning one year, collected data on people's perception, preferences, movement, demographics and trip background in a popular and busy city destination: Washington DC.;Data collection yielded 1,146 completed questionnaires out of 3,210 respondents who participated which sets the response rate at 35.7%. Results are subdivided into sections and in terms of preferences the findings revealed that the respondents regard urban forests are at par with the other major attractions of the city with regards to its relative importance. The respondents regarded that season is the most important factor that influences their timing of visit to Washington DC. Sub-groups of the respondents who are more familiar with the city such as repeat visitors and residents have more variety in terms of the attractions that they tend to enjoy. Despite being aware of urban forest attractions, only residents and the visitors who accompany them are the ones that are exposed and are able to visit these attractions proving that urban forests continue to be an underutilized resource in the tourism status of the city.;With regards to the preferences of the respondents on specific urban forest attributes, they expressed their tendency to prefer urban forests that are composed of at least trees and grass; those that are planted throughout the city having a verdant quality with many other colors, and are trimmed. Furthermore, they expressed that plant variety, planting pattern, color variety and growth form are important attributes that influence their preferences. Insights given by the respondents in the study indicate that people, in general, are aware of the natural landscape of the city and not just the built landscape. Consequently, maintenance activities should be guided by these findings in response to the people's feedback.;Another aspect of this study is looking at the perception of the respondents on urban forests. Observations based on the data revealed that respondents' knowledge on the uses of urban forests (i.e. parks, gardens and street trees) positively influence their leisure experience and has a fairly acceptable influence on their satisfaction and loyalty to the city. This confirms the level of awareness that the respondents harbor concerning the importance of urban forests in their experiences in the city. It can be deduced that people who know more about the uses and the role that urban forests play in the urban ecosystem tend to have a more positive leisure experience while in the city, and therefore tend to be more satisfied and loyal to it.;Lastly, the behavior of the respondents was explored by looking into their mobility, concentration and spatial movement. After these variables were described and defined, study results showed that most respondents congregate at the National Mall and its vicinity because the most popular attractions are clustered there. As the respondents were subdivided, various sub-groups exhibited differences in their movement patterns which also differed based on the season when they visited. In relation to urban forests, a potential to disperse the concentration of people visiting the city is feasible by promoting visitation to urban forests that are currently regarded as less popular attractions. Some examples of such attractions are the National Zoo, Rock Creek Park, the National arboretum and the Kenilworth aquatic gardens. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).
Andrada II, Rogelio T., "Relating urban forests and urban tourism: Exploring people's perceptions, preferences and movement in Washington DC" (2015). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 5106.