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Aim

What factors encourage tourism at the ASA Wright Nature Centre?

Methodology
When: The data for the study was collected on Friday 7th of October 2011. This procedure lasted between the hours of 9:45 am and 1 pm; three hours and fifteen minutes. Where: The following data was collected at the ASA Wright Nature Centre and Lodge, Blanchisseuse road. How: On the 3rd of October 2011, a questionnaire including eleven close-ended questions (see Appendix 1), targeted and aimed at the tourism based study was formulated. We had also planned out the procedure of collecting data on this date. During the journey to the facility, pictures of the landscape and roads were taken. Upon arrival at the Asa Wright Nature Centre, we were introduced to the tour guide at the lodge and a brief question and answer session was conducted between both the students and the tour guide. This lasted for approximately half an hour. Then we were taken on a tour of the site, during which the questionnaires were executed. When presenting the questionnaire, convenient sampling was used, as well as, thirty questionnaires were distributed and thirty were received. Finally, a sketch map of the area was drawn at about 1 p.m. Pictures were continuously taken throughout the entire days proceedings. Results of the questionnaire were compiled and everyone in the form 5y Geography class recorded the results on the 11th of October.

Presentation and Analysis: PHYSICAL FACTORS Location and Accessibility


Accessibility is a factor which plays a major role in the tourism of any said country. If the location of the site is easily accessible, it encourages more tourists to visit these places because of its ability to be easily found, as well as, its convenience. All Tourists, especially foreign tourists, are usually on limited time constraints, hence, it is very easy for a tourist to lose interest in a place with a location which is difficult to find. Usually, they would opt for the easily accessible tourist destinations. Accessibility refers to roads, safety with regards to the physical environment and so on. Dangerous landslides and mudslides may occur which could result in blockage of the roads on the route to the Asa Wright Nature Centre, however, the roads were fairly good considering, as seen in picture 1 below, it was located in the northern coast/ mountainous areas of Trinidad. It was stated that 20 of the 30 persons questioned agreed that this tourist site was conveniently located, that is, 67% of the total number of persons. This can be seen in the Pie chart below.

Figure 1: Pie chart showing respondents views on convenience of location

Picture 1: Picture showing road leading to Asa Wright Nature Centre

Landscape/ Physical Environment


The landscape of a place comprises of the visible features of an area of land, including the physical elements of landforms such as hills, rivers and so on. Asa Wright, as mentioned before, is located in the northern range. As such, it is built on and surrounded by mountainous areas in which persons have refrained from cutting the natural trees and plants which are, otherwise, commonly replaced by buildings and housing areas. This encourages tourists desire to visit the site as, not only foreign tourists who are accustomed to what is called the concrete jungle, but local tourists as well who live in places such as Chaguanas and Port-of-Spain can experience a change in their environment. The flora, as well as, the fauna in this site is plentiful, unharmed, untouched and impacts on the tourists attraction to the centre. 63.3 % of tourists interviewed agreed that Asa Wright had a good physical environment, that is, 19/30 persons; which is illustrated in the bar chart below, as well as, some examples of the flora found at the centre is illustrated below.

Picture 2: Picture showing flora found at Asa Wright Nature Centre

Picture 3: Picture showing flora at Asa Wright Nature Centre

Figure 2: Bar chart showing respondents satisfaction with physical environment

ECONOMIC FACTORS Affordability and Reasonable Prices


Many tourists are on very different budgets, and although some may be able to afford to visit expensive tourist sites, others may not. Asa Wright offers many different features such as day visits, bird watching packages and special events which encourage tourists to visit but if the prices for the features are too costly/over-expensive then the amount of tourists visiting would be lower. This particular tourist destination was observed to be reasonably priced, for example, there was a $10 U.S admission fee for tourists coming from abroad and a $30 TT fee for local tourists. Also, a special rate for local tourists was offered if so inclined, that is, a 10% service charge, 10% room tax, and a 15% Value-added Tax, of which, three meals per day, afternoon tea, and a complimentary rum punch per evening were included. A complimentary guided tour of the Centre grounds and a visit to the Oilbird cave was only included if the tourist stayed for three days or more. It can be stated that this tourist site was extremely affordable, also, because of the 30 persons interviewed, 100 % agreed that they could afford the prices and got value for their money as can be observed in the following table. Affordability of Prices Affordable Expensive
Number of Persons 30

Figure 3: Table showing respondents opinions on affordability of prices

HUMAN FACTORS Safety and Security


This is one of, if not, the most important factor of a persons visit to a tourist destination. Some persons come from very distant places in the world and they expect that the locations they visit would be safe. They would also not want to be constantly worried about whether the attraction is safe or not. Any person would refrain from vacationing at a dangerous spot, especially tourists. With regards to this tourist destination, the security was very adequate as there were tour guides and security guards in each part of the site, for example, at the lodge and at the admission. Although there were wild animals, not a single animal- attack had ever been reported. As illustrated in the column chart below, 27/30 persons said that they felt safe there.

Figure 4: Column chart showing respondents satisfaction with security at the Asa Wright Nature Centre

Professionalism/ Hospitality
Persons visiting, spend a good sum of money to enjoy themselves and have fun. Therefore, a professional staff is very important when adding to the overall enjoyment of said persons stay. Being professional means being, first and foremost, very hospitable/kind and approachable. Any problems encountered by the tourists should be taken care of without any display of a negative attitude. Services should also be set at a high standard, for example, provision of breakfast, lunch and dinner should be on-time, tours should begin as scheduled and tour guides should have a good knowledge of the area, as well as, the information they pass onto tourists about the flora and fauna. In total, 16/30 persons said that the hospitality of the staff was good, 10/30 said that it was excellent and 13/30 said that the tour guides had a good expertise in their fields whilst 6/30 agreed that it was excellent. This clearly shows that Asa Wright had a generally good staff that was both professional and hospitable. This contributed to the fact that the highest number of tourists said that the staff was the most enjoyable part of their stay; 13/30. Also, 20/30 persons found out about the nature centre via recommendation which means that because of tourists enjoyable stay at the centre; they conveyed positive messages to their friends/family. These results were compiled to form the pie chart below, showing the tourists views on the hospitality and professionalism of the centres staff.

Fig ure 5: Pie chart showing respondents views on the hospitality and professionalism of staff

Maintenance
Also, good maintenance is what a lot of tourists look for when choosing tourists destinations. They would want to feel comfortable that they are in a healthy environment which is clean and safe for them to be in. This includes clean changing rooms, bathrooms and toilets which are properly taken care of and so on. No tourist would spend their money to visit a place that is dirty and unkempt; hence, maintenance plays a great role in the attraction of tourists to this site. The data collected showed that the second highest factor which contributed to a persons overall satisfaction was the maintenance of the facility with 9/30 persons agreeing to this; this is seen in the bar chart below. This means that Asa Wrights facilities were of a reasonably good standard. This would have been an encouraging detail in the amount of tourists which visit the place.

Figure 6: Bar chart showing respondents satisfaction with tourism factors

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are several factors that encourage tourism at the Asa Wright Nature Centre, these are, physical; location and accessibility, landscape or physical environment, economic; affordability and reasonable prices and human; safety and security, professionalism or hospitality and maintenance. The results from the data collected from the field study stated that 67% of persons agreed upon good accessibility, 19/30 on a favorable physical environment, 100 % on affordable prices, 27/30 on good security, as well as, 75% on professionalism and hospitality of staff and 9/30 agreeing that there was reasonably good maintenance, making this the 2nd most popular reason for the tourists enjoyment of the facility; hospitality of the staff being the first most influential factor of tourism. Out of the 30 people surveyed 24/30 had the same opinion of this site and agreed that they would like to visit again. This project allowed us to see and understand, by embarking on theory and practical exercises, the reasons for tourists being attracted to this specific place in Trinidad. It also allowed us to examine why these factors were important and which made the biggest impacts in encouraging the tourists to return. The aim was, in turn, derived, planned out, played out, discussed and analyzed and, finally, accomplished.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) Aim of Study 2) Location of Study 3) Methodology 4) Presentation and Analyses 5) Conclusion 6) Bibliography 7) Appendix

Bibliography

Books
1)

Morrissey, M and Hart, G.

Phillips Certificate Atlas for the Caribbean, London: George Phillip & Sons Ltd, 1995

2)

Morrissey, M.

Caribbean School Atlas for Social Studies, Geography and History: Longman Caribbean, 1998

3)

Reardon, G. and Bidaisee, S. The Essential Guild to Map Reading, Caribbean Edition: Marshall Cavendish International Private Ltd, 2005

4)

Wilson, M.

The Caribbean Environment for CXC Geography: Oxford University Press, 2005

Websites
1) 2) 3)

www.asawright/trinidad.com www.touristmind.com www.trinidadtouristsites.com

About the Asa Wright Nature Centre

Appendix

Figure 7: picture showing the Asa Wright Nature Centre tourist sign

Figure 8: picture showing souvenirs for tourists from the Asa Wright Gift shop

Picture 9: sample of the tourism questionnaire executed