Vancouver Island Results

 Response Rates

The response rates for Winter Harbour and West Coast Trail respondents were just below 70%. Response rate for Kwisitis Visitor Centre participants was just below 50% (Table 2).

Table 2. Vancouver Island Response Rates

Site Respondents Refusals Sample Size Response Rate
West Coast Trail 165 71 236 69.92%
Kwisitis Visitor Centre 160 176 336 47.62%
Winter Harbour Fishing 64 29 93 68.82%
Total 389 276 665 58.50%

 

Country of Origin

Country of origin statistics were calculated for all sample groups with 362 out of 389 respondents (93.1%) reporting their country of origin. Most participants were Canadian residents. Apart from Canada the top six countries where respondents were visiting from include the United States, Germany, UK, Netherlands, France and Belgium. Country of origin distribution varied depending on the sample site (Table 3).

Table 3. Respondent Country of Origin

 

West Coast Trail

Kwisitis Visitor Centre

Winter Harbour Fishing

Total

Country

n

%

n

%

n

%

n

%

Canada

126

84.56

71

47.02

11

17.74

208

57.46

USA

4

2.68

28

18.54

51

82.26

83

22.93

Germany

8

5.37

19

12.58

0

0.00

27

7.46

UK

7

4.70

5

3.31

0

0.00

12

3.31

Netherlands

0

0.00

8

5.30

0

0.00

8

2.21

France

1

0.67

6

4.00

0

0.00

7

1.93

Belgium

0

0.00

6

4.00

0

0.00

6

1.66

Other

3

2.01

8

5.30

0

0.00

11

3.04

Total

149

99.99

151

100.05

62

100.00

362

100.00

 

Gender Distribution

Gender information was calculated for all sample groups with 369 out of 389 respondents (94.86%) reporting their gender. The gender distribution at each site is depicted in Table 4.

Table 4. Respondent Gender Distribution

 

West Coast Trail

Kwisitis Visitor Centre

Winter Harbour Fishing

Total

Gender

n

%

n

%

n

%

n

%

Male

96

63.16

73

46.79

57

93.44

226

61.25

Female

56

36.84

83

53.21

4

6.56

143

38.75

Total

152

100.00

156

100.00

61

100.00

369

100.00

There was a higher proportion of males who completed the questionnaire when compared to females. This can be attributed to the significantly higher number of males surveyed at the West Coast Trail and Winter Harbour data collection sites.

 

Age Distribution

Age information was calculated for all sample groups. Out of 389 respondents, 335 (86.12%) reported this information. The age of respondents ranged from 18 years old through to the age of 76. The average age of respondents was 40 years of age, however this varied between the three sample groups. Age distribution for each sample site is contained in Table 5.

Table 5. Respondent Age Distribution

Sample Group n Mean Min. Max. Range
West Cost Trail

141

34.67

18

74

56

Kwisitis Visitor Centre

142

44.63

18

74

56

Winter Harbour Fishing

52

55.92

19

76

57

Total

335

42.19

18

76

58

 

Destination Image

To help understand the main elements that shape Vancouver Island’s tourism image, respondents were asked to rate the importance of twenty items commonly associated with the Vancouver Island tourism industry. Ratings were given on a scale that ranged between 1 and 5, with 1 being not important and 5 being very important. These twenty items are listed in Table 6 and organized according to the importance ratings given by respondents. Therefore, the first item in the list was considered to be most important and the final item considered as least important. Overall importance ratings differed between the three sample groups. Numbers in brackets indicate the rank in importance of each item for the three sample groups.

Table 6. Destination Image Items

Item

n

Mean

West Coast Trail

Kwisitis Visitor Center

Winter Harbour Fishing

Natural scenery

386

4.78

4.84    (1) 4.85    (2) 4.45    (2)
Parks & protected areas

388

4.69

4.78    (2) 4.88    (1) 3.97    (3)
Hiking

388

4.35

4.70    (3) 4.47    (4) 3.13    (11t)
Unique/rare animals

385

4.29

4.25    (5) 4.53    (3) 3.81    (5)
Camping

389

3.98

4.56    (4) 3.69    (10) 3.20    (10)
Unique/rare plants

389

3.87

3.79    (7) 4.34    (5) 2.88    (16)
Local food

388

3.81

3.70    (8) 4.02    (7) 3.59    (6)
Aboriginal culture/history

388

3.77

3.67    (9) 4.16    (6) 3.08    (14)
Tourist information centres

388

3.63

3.47    (12) 3.99    (8) 3.13    (11t)
Transportation networks

387

3.61

3.84    (6) 3.53    (11) 3.25    (9)
Nature-based tours

388

3.60

3.51    (11) 3.94    (9) 3.00    (15)
Mild weather

386

3.50

3.59    (10) 3.43    (13t) 3.43    (7)
Quality accommodation

385

3.37

3.10    (16) 3.48    (12) 3.83    (4)
Colonial era history/structures

387

3.34

3.33    (13) 3.43    (13t) 3.11    (13)
Quality Restaurants

387

3.23

3.16    (15) 3.25    (16) 3.39    (8)
Festivals, concerts, markets, museums, etc.

386

3.16

3.17    (14) 3.26    (15) 2.87    (17)
Fishing

387

3.02

2.83    (18) 2.51    (17) 4.80    (1)
Diving/snorkeling

385

2.59

2.90    (17) 2.50    (18) 2.08    (20)
Local wine, beer, etc.

386

2.54

2.59    (19) 2.47    (19) 2.58    (18)
Nightlife/Entertainment

388

2.05

2.14    (20) 1.85    (20) 2.33    (19)

 Although there are some differences between sample groups it is interesting to note the similarities between the three groups when considering the items that received the highest ratings. Although Winter Harbour fishing guests rated ‘fishing’ as most important, this was followed by ‘natural scenery’ and ‘parks/protected areas’, which were also highly rated items for the other two sample groups. Despite the importance that this group placed on fishing, they also seem to quite aware of Vancouver Island’s reputation for natural scenery and protected areas.

 

Sensitivity to Forest Industry Impacts

In order to understand respondents degree of sensitivity toward forest industry impacts a scale was developed that contained twelve items. Six of these items were worded in a way that assessed the impact of forestry on tourism experience, while the other six items measured the impact that forestry has on outdoor recreational experience. In addition to this, half of the items included in the scale were worded negatively, while the other half contained positively worded items.

Sensitivity scores were then calculated for each participant. This was done by reverse coding all negatively worded items and adding the ratings given to produce a score out of 60. This was then divided by 12 to create an index out of 5. The possible scores that respondents could receive ranged between 1 and 5, with 1 representing a low degree of sensitivity and and 5 representing a high degree of sensitivity to forest industry impacts. Comparisons between the three sample groups were then made. Analysis revealed that Winter Harbour fishing guests were much less sensitive to forest industry impacts when compared to West Coast Trail walkers and Kwisitis Visitor Centre guests (Table 7).

Table 7. Sensitivity to Forestry Impacts

Sample Group N Mean Min. Max. Range
West Coast Trail

151

3.72

2.08

5.00

2.92

Kwisitis Visitor Centre

144

3.64

2.33

5.00

2.67

Winter Harbour Fishing

61

2.83

1.42

4.42

3.00

Total

356

3.541

1.42

5.00

3.58

1Mean score from Winter Harbour fishing guests was significantly lower than WCT hikers and Kwisitis Visitor Centre guests.

 

Exposure to Forestry Impacts

The amount that an individual is exposed to forestry impacts is likely to influence the degree to which their experience is affected. Therefore, the survey listed four types of forest industry impacts that visitors could potentially encounter while visiting Vancouver Island. These include harvested areas, tree plantations, logging trucks and saw/pulp mills. Respondents were asked to indicate whether or not they had observed each type of impact during their trip. The results of this analysis are contained in Table 8.

Table 8. Exposure to Forestry Impacts

 

West Coast Trail

Kwisitis Visitor Centre

Winter Harbour Fishing

Total

Impact Type

n

%

n

%

n

%

n

%

Harvested areas

126

81.82

110

70.97

61

96.83

297

79.84

Tree plantations

76

49.35

78

50.32

57

90.48

211

56.72

Logging trucks

94

61.04

95

61.29

46

73.02

235

63.17

Saw/pulp mills

50

32.47

66

42.58

36

57.14

152

40.86

Analysis revealed that the likelihood of encountering forest industry impacts was quite high for each of the three sample groups. This is especially true for harvested areas. Despite this finding, it appears that the chance of encountering forestry impacts is partly dependent on the area visited. This is because the likelihood of encountering certain impact types was shown to vary according to sample group.

 

Forestry Impact on Tourist Perceptions

The survey that was distributed to visitors contained a question that asked about the effect that specific forest industry impacts had on their perception of Vancouver Island as a tourist destination. The forest industry impacts listed in the survey include harvested areas, tree plantations, logging trucks and saw/pulp mills. This question was measured on a 5-point likert scale, with 1 being negative and 5 being positive. Analysis revealed that differences in opinion do exist depending on the type of forestry impact observed (Table 9).

Table 9. Forestry Impacts and Visitor Experience

Impact Type

n

1

(Negative)

2

3

4

5

(Positive)

Harvested areas

294

21.8

32.3

37.1

5.4

3.1

Tree plantations

208

4.3

7.2

38.5

31.3

18.3

Logging trucks

229

15.7

21

54.6

6.1

2.2

Saw/Pulp Mills

150

12.7

24.7

52.7

4

5.3

Out of the four types of forest industry impacts listed, harvested areas received the lowest rating with more than half of respondents (54.1%) indicating that observing these areas had a negative impact upon their perception of Vancouver Island as a tourist destination (rating of 1 or 2). This was followed by saw/pulp mills (37.4%) and logging trucks (36.7%). Despite these findings, it appears that visitors were quite accepting of tree plantations with only 11.5% of respondents rating this type of impact in the negative range of the scale (rating of 1 or 2).

 

Forestry Impact on Tourist Perceptions (Mean ratings according to sample group)

In addition to the differences in ratings found between the four types of forest industry impacts, a significant difference was also observed when comparing the ratings given to harvested areas by the three sample groups (Table 10).

Table 10. Forestry Impact and Visitor Experience According to Sample Group

Impact Type

Mean

West Coast Trail

Kwisitis Visitor Centre

Winter Harbour Fishing

Harvested areas

2.321

2.20

2.23

2.75

Tree plantations

3.472

3.67

3.30

3.45

Logging trucks

2.542

2.48

2.54

2.63

Saw/Pulp Mills

2.582

2.38

2.57

2.89

1 Mean responses for the Winter Harbour Fishing guests were significantly higher than the mean responses for WCT hikers and Visitor Centre guests.
2 No significant differences found between groups.

Mean responses for harvested areas from the Winter Harbour fishing guests were significantly higher than the mean responses for the other two groups. This suggests that Winter Harbour fishing guests were much less likely to have their perceptions influenced when observing harvested areas than West Coast Trail walkers and Kwisitis Visitor Centre guests. Despite this difference, no other statistically significant differences were found between the three sample groups when considering the other three types of forest industry impacts listed in the survey (tree plantations, logging trucks, saw/pulpmills).

 

Forest Management Preferences (Responses)

To help gain insight into the management preferences of visitors to Vancouver Island the survey contained a question listing five possible management options for Vancouver Island forests. Respondents were asked to rate their agreement with each option, with 1 indicating a high level of agreement and 5 indicating a low level of agreement. The five management options presented in the survey are depicted in Table 11.

Table 11. Forest Management Preferences

Management Option

n

Strongly Agree %(1)

Agree %(2)

Neither agree / disagree %(3)

Disagree %(4)

Strongly Disagree %(5)

Make no changes to forest management practices, as forestry has minimal impact on scenic views.

287

2.8

17.8

20.2

35.9

23.3

Limit timber harvesting near roadways to preserve scenic views along transportation routes.

332

21.4

49.7

16.3

10.8

1.8

Limit timber harvesting near recreational areas to preserve scenic views at these sites.

342

32.7

50.9

11.1

4.7

.6

Heavily restrict timber harvesting throughout all areas of Vancouver Island to preserve scenic views

328

17.7

23.5

23.5

24.4

11

Ban timber harvesting throughout all areas of Vancouver Island to preserve scenic views.

315

7.9

7.9

16.8

39

28.3

When presented with the option of making no changes to forest management practices, 59.2% of respondents indicated that they either disagree or strongly disagree with this statement. This suggests that a high proportion of visitors would like to see some changes to forest management practices on Vancouver Island. Out of the forest management options presented to visitors, the limiting of harvesting near recreational areas to preserve scenic views received the most support, with 83.6% of respondents indicating that they either agree or strongly agree with this option. This was followed by the restriction of harvesting near transportation routes to preserve scenic views (71.1%). Despite the strong support for the restriction of timber harvesting in certain areas, very few respondents were outright opposed to the presence of the forest industry with only 15.8% of respondents indicating that they believe timber harvesting should be banned throughout Vancouver Island.

 

Forest Management Preferences (Mean ratings according to sample group)

Significant differences were also observed when comparing the acceptance ratings given by the three sample groups. These differences can be seen in Table 12.

Table 12. Forest Management Preferences According to Sample Group

Management Option

Mean

West Coast Trail

Kwisitis Visitor Centre

Winter Harbour Fishing

Make no changes to forest management practices, as forestry has minimal impact on scenic views.

3.591

3.81

3.51

3.31

Limit timber harvesting near roadways to preserve scenic views along transportation routes.

2.222

2.30

2.06

2.43

Limit timber harvesting near recreational areas to preserve scenic views at these sites.

1.893

1.83

1.78

2.32

Heavily restrict timber harvesting throughout all areas of Vancouver Island to preserve scenic views

2.883

2.77

2.53

3.90

Ban timber harvesting throughout all areas of Vancouver Island to preserve scenic views.

3.723

3.65

3.51

4.32

1 Mean responses from WCT hikers were significantly higher than mean responses from Winter Harbour Fishing guests.
2 Mean responses from Winter Harbour Fishing guests were significantly higher than mean responses from Visitor Centre guests.
3 Mean responses from Winter Harbour Fishing guests were significantly higher than Visitor Centre guests and WCT hikers.

Winter Harbour fishing guests were much more likely than the other two sample groups to agree with the statement suggesting that no changes to forest management practices were needed. Additionally, this group was less likely than the other two sample groups to support the final three management options presented (i. Limit harvesting near recreational areas; ii. Heavily restrict harvesting throughout Vancouver Island; iii. Ban harvesting throughout Vancouver Island). This seems to suggest that Winter Harbour fishing guests are more supportive of current forest management practices than are West Coast Trail walkers and Kwisitis Visitor Centre guests.

 

Summary

Based upon the above results, it appears that forestry in Vancouver Island does have the potential to negatively impact upon the tourism industry. This is supported by the fact that over half of the respondents who participated in this study indicated that observing harvested areas negatively impacts upon their perception of Vancouver Island as a tourist destination. In addition to this, more than 1/3 of respondents indicated that saw/pulp mills and logging trucks have a negative impact upon their perceptions.

The fact that nearly 60% of respondents indicated that they either disagree or strongly disagree with the statement suggesting that ‘no forest management changes are needed on Vancouver Island’ indicates that changes to forest management practices could improve the perceptions of tourists to the region. When asked about preferred management options more than 80% of respondents indicated that they believe timber harvesting should be limited near recreational areas to preserve scenic views. Also, more than 70% of respondents support the idea of harvesting restrictions near roadways to preserve views along transportation routes.

Despite these findings, the degree to which tourism is affected seems to vary depending on tourist user group. Although differences were noted between all three sample groups, the most notable differences seemed to occur between Winter Harbour fishing lodge guests and the other two sample groups (West Coast Trail walkers and Kwisitis Visitor Centre guests).  Winter Harbour fishing guests were much less sensitive to forest industry impacts than the other two sample groups. In addition to this, Winter Harbour fishing guests were less likely than the other two sample groups to have their perceptions negatively affected when observing harvested areas. Lastly, Winter Harbour fishing guests were more likely than the other two sample groups to agree with the statement that ‘no changes to forest management are needed.’

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