Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 1582–1597 | Cite as

Travel motivation of domestic tourists to the Changbai Mountain Biosphere Reserve in Northeastern China: A comparative study

  • Xiao-ping Gu
  • Bernard J. Lewis
  • Yan-quan Li
  • Da-pao Yu
  • Li Zhou
  • Wang-ming Zhou
  • Sheng-nan Wu
  • Li-min DaiEmail author


This article seeks to develop a fuller understanding of the social and attraction motives of domestic tourists who visit the Changbai Mountain Biosphere Reserve (CMBR) in Northeastern China. To do so, ecotourists are compared to general travelers visiting this area. A questionnaire was employed to collect data on visitor characteristics and motivations, responses to which were then analyzed via descriptive statistics, T-tests and principal component factor analysis. Results showed that 16% of the visitors to this area were classified as ecotourists, while the remainder general travelers. Five motivations displayed significant differences (P<0.05) between these two types of tourists. Three social motives – boosting self-confidence, feeling at home away from home and being together with family – and two attraction motives – indoor sports and viewing unique landscapes of the CMBR (crater lake, waterfall, gorge and hot spring) – were significantly more important for general travelers (P<0.05); while two social motives of experiencing the tranquility of the natural setting and the natural beauty of the landscape were relatively more important for ecotourists (P<0.1). Results suggest that ecotourists have distinct and complicated attraction and social motives compared to general travelers visiting the CMBR. Results have useful implications for researchers interested in tourist motivations and behavior, as well as for managers who wish to focus their marketing strategies more effectively.


Social motives Attraction motives Tourist behavior Changbai Mountain Biosphere Reserve 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao-ping Gu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bernard J. Lewis
    • 1
  • Yan-quan Li
    • 4
  • Da-pao Yu
    • 1
  • Li Zhou
    • 1
  • Wang-ming Zhou
    • 1
  • Sheng-nan Wu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Li-min Dai
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Forest and Soil Ecology, Institute of Applied EcologyChinese Academy of SciencesShenyangChina
  2. 2.College of Economics and ManagementShenyang Agricultural UniversityShenyangChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Chinese Academy of ForestryBeijingChina

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