Visitor Understanding of the Geodiversity and the Geoconservation Value of the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site, Northern Ireland

Crawford, Kevin and Black, Róisín (2011) Visitor Understanding of the Geodiversity and the Geoconservation Value of the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site, Northern Ireland. Geoheritage, 4 (1-2). pp. 115-126. ISSN 1867 2477

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Official URL: http://link.springer.com/journal/12371

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a visitor survey undertaken at the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. This site is globally significant to geologists because of its Tertiary lava sequences and their associated palaeosols, but to tourists it is the spectacular columnar jointing and mythology that are its main attractions. The survey was conducted in October 2007 to assess the tourism shoulder season visitors to the site. It sought to assess visitors’ understanding of the geodiversity features and geoconservation value of the site. Additionally, it sought to determine their opinions on the current on-site interpretation to gauge whether this aids the visitor understanding and experience of the site. It was found that visitors had a fair understanding of the terms ‘geodiversity’ and ‘geoconservation’ and some had understanding of the geological value of the site. The on-site interpretation materials did not fully meet the needs and expectations of the visitors. Improvements to these materials to enhance visitors’ understanding and experience of the site are suggested such as providing more appropriate information and opportunities for human interaction in the form of rangers or guided walks. The survey’s findings and consequent suggested improvements have clear implications for the broader provision of interpretative materials at similar coastal geological geotourism sites across the UK.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: The final publication is available at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12371-011-0049-6
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Geography and Environmental Science
Depositing User: Kevin Crawford
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2016 11:50
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2016 11:50
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/1770

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