Exploring Nature's Benefits through Tourism and Eudaimonic Well-being: A Case Study of the Jurassic Coast, Dorset
Willis, Cheryl Ann
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
This research is concerned with advancing understanding of human-nature relationships and the ways in which people benefit from interactions with nature. This is important since economic accounts of the value of natural resources are most often used to determine priorities for action, leaving the more deep-felt and intangible ways that people experience and value nature largely excluded from decision making processes. The imperative to understand the more nuanced ways that people benefit from and value nature has gained traction in recent years most notably through high-profile analysis of natural resources which have made explicit their links to human well-being. This study aims to capture these wider values of the Jurassic Coast, Dorset and the ways in which it comes to resonate as significant and valuable to people. It uses both quantitative and qualitative techniques to gain rich insights into what this World Heritage Site really means to visitors and how experiences here underpin psychological well-being. A methodological innovation is presented in the human needs framework which is used to test the extent to which human needs thought to be important for psychological well-being are satisfied through interactions in the landscape. Moreover, it is hypothesised that this satisfaction leads to eudaimonic well-being which is concerned with positive psychological functioning and ‘flourishing’ (Ryan & Deci, 2001). This research has implications for tourism planning and management to ensure opportunities are created or maintained for human needs to be met in the landscape and for optimal visitor experiences to result. More widely, this research also has implications for understanding environmental value from a broad perspective and for using innovative methodologies to reveal these values, and to incorporate them in decision making processes in diverse policy areas.
ESRC CASE Award with partner organisation Dorset County County.
This research is an ESRC CASE studentship within the Centre for Sport, Leisure and Tourism Research, held jointly by Geography and Politics departments at the University of Exeter and part funded by Dorset County Council.
PhD in Geography