Analysis of the Motivations and Satisfaction towards Ecotourism in a National Recreation Area: The Samanes Park in Guayaquil, Ecuador

  • Mauricio CARVACHE - FRANCO Espíritu Santo University, Ecuador
  • Wilmer CARVACHE - FRANCO Higher Polytechnic School of the Litoral Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ecuador
  • Rafael ARCE -BASTIDAS Faculty of Social Communication University of Guayaquil, Ecuador
  • José Luis PROAÑO MOREIRA Faculty of Social Communication University of Guayaquil, Ecuador


Studying the motivations and satisfaction of visitors in protected areas is increasingly important for the interaction with nature. The Samanes Park recreation area located in the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador is visited by national and international tourists for outdoor activities and for the purpose of being in contact with nature. The present empirical study was carried out in situ, for which univariate and bivariate techniques were applied using a questionnaire. The results show that the main motivations of the visit are "to enjoy its environment and pure air", "to enjoy its public recreation spaces", "to perform sports" and "to carry out activities in nature", which indicates the importance of ecotourism in this destination. The most valued attributes in satisfaction are "security", followed by "places of recreation". Visitors to the Samanes Park find general satisfaction in their visit and the vast majority are totally satisfied. All these findings show the importance of this site for ecotourism in Ecuador.


[1] Bansal, S. P., and Aswinder Kumar, J. 2013. Ecotourism for Community Development: A Stakeholder’s Perspective in. Creating a Sustainable Social Ecology Using Technology-driven Solutions, 88. DOI: 10.4018 / 978-1-4666-3613-2.ch007
[2] Bordas, E. 2003. "Hacia el turismo de la sociedad de ensueño: nuevas necesidades de mercado". En: Inauguración del primer semestre del curso 2002-2003 de los Estudios de Economía y Empresa de la UOC (2002: Bellaterra) [conferencia en línea]. UOC. Available at:
[3] Chen, B., Qi, X., and Qiu, Z. 2018. Recreational use of urban forest parks: a case study in Fuzhou National Forest Park, China. Journal of Forest Research, 23(3): 183-189. Available at:
[4] Cheng, A., Gursoy, D. and Del Chiappa, G. 2015. The influence of materialism on ecotourism attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Travel Research, 55 (2): 176-189. DOI: 10.1177/0047287514541005
[5] Chon, K. S. 1989. Understanding recreational traveler's motivation, attitude and satisfaction. The Tourist Review, 44(1): 3-7. DOI:
[6] Cobbinah, P. B. 2015. Contextualising the meaning of ecotourism. Tourism Management Perspectives, 16: 179-189. DOI:
[7] Coppin, L., and Asociados, D. K. V. 1992. Ecoturismo y América Latina: una aproximación al tema. Revista Estudios y Perspectivas en Turismo, 1(1): 7-14. Available at:
[8] Crilley, G., Weber, D., and Taplin, R. 2012. Predicting visitor satisfaction in parks: Comparing the value of personal benefit attainment and service levels in Kakadu National Park, Australia. Visitor Studies, 15(2): 217-237. DOI:
[9] De La Rosa, B. M. 2003. Nuevos turistas en busca de un nuevo producto: el patrimonio cultural. Pasos, Revista de Turismo y Patrimonio Cultural, 1(2): 155-160. DOI:
[10] Diaz-Christiansen, S., López-Guzmán, T., and Pérez-Gálvez, J. C. 2016. Motivations and Valued Attributes of Ecotourism in a Natural Protected Area: Santay Island (Ecuador). Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 7(3): 240 - 249. DOI:
[11] Donohoe, H. M., and Needham, R. D. 2006. Ecotourism: The evolving contemporary definition. Journal of Ecotourism, 5(3): 192-210. doi: 10.2167/joe152.0
[12] Emmanuel, A., Dearden, P. and Rollins, R. 2016. Nature-based tourism in Mole National Park, Ghana, African Geographical Review, 35(1): 53-69. DOI: 10.1080/19376812.2015.1088389
[13] Fennell, D. A. 2001. A content analysis of ecotourism definitions. Current issues in tourism, 4(5): 403-421.
[14] Fodness, D. 1994. Measuring tourist motivation. Annals of tourism research, 21(3): 555-581.
[15] Fung, C. K., and Jim, C. Y. 2015. Segmentation by motivation of Hong Kong Global Geopark visitors in relation to sustainable nature-based tourism. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 22(1): 76-88. DOI: 10.1080/13504509.2014.999262
[16] Garms, M., Fredman, P., and Mose, I. 2017. Travel motives of German tourists in the Scandinavian mountains: the case of Fulufjället National Park. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 17(3): 239-258. DOI: 10.1080/15022250.2016.1176598
[17] Giddy, J. K., and Webb, N. L. 2016. The influence of the environment on motivations to participate in adventure tourism: The case of the Tsitsikamma. South African Geographical Journal, 98(2): 351-366. DOI: 10.1080/03736245.2015.1028990
[18] Godbey, G., and Blazey, M. 1983. Old people in urban parks: an exploratory investigation. Journal of leisure research, 15(3): 229-244.
[19] Hassell, S., Moore, S. A., and Macbeth, J. 2015. Exploring the motivations, experiences and meanings of camping in national parks. Leisure Sciences, 37(3): 269-287.
[20] Hetzer, W. 1965. Environment, Tourism and Culture. Washington D.C.: Island Press.
[21] Hudman, Lloyd E. 1980, Tourism: A Shrinking World. Columbus, Ohio: Grid Inc.
[22] Iso-Ahola, S. E. 1982. Toward a social psychological theory of tourism motivation: A rejoinder. Annals of tourism research, 9(2): 256-262. DOI. 10.1016/0160-7383(82)90049-4
[23] Iso-Ahola. S.E. 1983. Towards a social psychology of recreational travel, Leisure Studies, 2(1): 45-56. DOI: 10.1080/02614368300390041
[24] Katz, D. 1960. The functional approach to the study of attitudes. Public opinion quarterly, 24(2): 163-204.
[25] Kim, H., Lee, S., Uysal, M., Kim, J., and Ahn, K. 2015. Nature-based tourism: Motivation and subjective well-being. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 32(sup1): S76-S96. DOI: 10.1080/10548408.2014.997958
[26] Kim, S. H., and Choi, Y. M. (2000). Evaluating Customer’s Satisfaction Level as An Influential Factor to Revisit Theme Park. International Journal of Tourism Sciences, 1(1): 111-126.
[27] Kim, S. S., Lee, C. K., and Klenosky, D. B. 2003. The influence of push and pull factors at Korean national parks. Tourism management, 24(2): 169-180.
[28] Kimmel, J. R. (1999). Ecotourism as environmental learning. The Journal of Environmental Education, 30(2): 40-44. DOI: 10.1080/00958969909601869
[29] Kruger, M., and Saayman, M. 2010. Travel motivation of tourists to Kruger and Tsitsikamma National Parks: A comparative study. South African journal of wildlife research, 40(1): 93-102.
[30] Kuuder, C. J. W., Bagson, E., and Aalangdong, I. O. (2013). Assessment of Visitor Satisfaction in Mole National Park, Ghana. Available at:
[31] Lascurain, H. C. 1987. The future of ecotourism. Mexico Journal, 1: 13-14.
[32] Lee, S., Lee, S., and Lee, G. 2014. Ecotourists’ motivation and revisit intention: A case study of restored ecological parks in South Korea. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 19(11): 1327-1344. DOI: 10.1080/10941665.2013.852117
[33] Mahika, E. C. 2011. Current trends in tourist motivation. Cactus Tourism Journal, 2(2): 15-24. Available at:
[34] Minciu, R. 2004. Tourism Economy, III-rd Edition. Uranus Publising House, Bucharest.
[35] Mohamed, N., and Othman, N. 2012. Push and Pull Factor: Determining the visitors satisfactions at urban recreational area. Asian Journal of Environment-Behaviour Studies, 1(1): 79-86. DOI:
[36] Mutanga, C. N., Vengesayi, S., Chikuta, O., Muboko, N., and Gandiwa, E. 2017. Travel motivation and tourist satisfaction with wildlife tourism experiences in Gonarezhou and Matusadona National Parks, Zimbabwe. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 20: 1-18. DOI:
[37] National Institute of Statistics and Censuses. INEC. 2012. Quito, Ecuador.
[38] Nickerson, N. P., Jorgenson, J., and Boley, B. B. 2016. Are sustainable tourists a higher spending market? Tourism Management, 54: 170-177. DOI:
[39] Niefer, I. A. 2006. Segmentación por beneficios de los visitantes de la Isla Superagüi. Análisis multivariado para la identificación de segmentos del mercado ecoturístico. Available at:
[40] Panin, B., and Mbrica, A. 2014. POTENTIALS OF ECOTOURISM AS A RURAL DEVELOPMENT TOOL ON THE BASE OF MOTIVATION FACTORS IN SERBIA. Sustainable agriculture and rural development in terms of the republic of Serbia strategic goals realization within the Danube region. Rural development and (un) limited resources, 597.
[41] O'Dell, P. 2017. Redefining the National Park Service Role in Urban Areas, Journal of Leisure Research, 48(1): 5-11. DOI: 10.18666/jlr-2016-v48-i1-7168
[42] Pizam, A., Neumann, Y., and Reichel, A. 1978. Dimentions of tourist satisfaction with a destination area. Annals of tourism Research, 5(3): 314-322. DOI:
[43] Reihanian, A., Hin, T. W., Kahrom, E., Mahmood, N. B., and Porshokouh, A. B. 2015. An examination of the effects of push and pull factors on Iranian national parks: Boujagh National Park, Iran. Caspian J. Env. Sci, 13(3): 197-206. Available at:
[44] Reinius, S. W., and Fredman, P. 2007. Protected areas as attractions. Annals of tourism research, 34(4): 839-854. DOI:
[45] Ross, E. L. D., and Iso-Ahola, S. E. 1991. Sightseeing tourists' motivation and satisfaction. Annals of tourism research, 18(2): 226-237.
[46] Saayman, M., and Van der Merwe, P. 2008. Travel motivations of tourists visiting Kruger National Park. Koedoe, 50(1): 154-159. Available at:
[47] Sâmbotin, D., Sâmbotin, A., Pătrăşcoiu, M., Coroian, A., and Mercel, I. I. 2011. Ecoturismul - Model de Valorificare Durabilă a Resurselor Turistice, Lucrări Ştiinţifice, Seria I, Vol. XIII (4). (in Romanian)
[48] TIES. 2015. The International Ecotourism Society. Retrieved june 18, 2017. Available at:
[49] Wallace, G. N., and Pierce, S. M. 1996. An evaluation of ecotourism in Amazonas, Brazil. Annals of tourism research, 23(4): 843-873.
[50] Wight, P. A. 1996. North American ecotourists: Market profile and trip characteristics. Journal of Travel Research, 34(4): 2-10. DOI:
[51] Wunder, S. 1999. Promoting forest conservation through ecotourism income. A case study from the Ecuadorian Amazon region. CIFOR. Ocasional paper, (21), 24. Available at:
[52] Ziffer, K. A. 1989. Ecotourism: The uneasy alliance. Conservation International
[53] *** Real Estate Management Service of the Public Sector INMOBILIAR (2017). Guayaquil, Ecuador.
How to Cite
CARVACHE - FRANCO, Mauricio et al. Analysis of the Motivations and Satisfaction towards Ecotourism in a National Recreation Area: The Samanes Park in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Journal of Environmental Management and Tourism, [S.l.], v. 9, n. 4, p. 744-756, oct. 2018. ISSN 2068-7729. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 may 2019. doi: