state parks, park entrance fees, satisfaction, service quality, Oklahoma state parks
In the past decade, state government appropriation reductions have forced park agencies to seek other sources of revenue to support park operations. To overcome shrinking budgets, many public park agencies embrace private sector business models and investigate customer satisfaction, service quality, and user fee structures. The purpose of this study was to obtain public input regarding service quality, general satisfaction, and experience use history of state park visitation. A total of 382 Oklahoma state park users completed an online survey and were sorted into Pro-Fee (n = 200, 52%) and No-Fee (n = 182, 48%) groups for one-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) tests. The researchers found a significant difference between the two groups on service quality, but not on overall satisfaction or behavioral intention (e.g., revisit, recommending the park). When comparing Pro-Fee and No-Fee groups, researchers found no statistically significant variance in visitors’ demographics, such as gender, education level, and income, whereas the number of years that had passed since the visitors’ first visit showed a significant difference between the groups. The findings of this study provide valuable insight for discussions related to entrance fees and service fees in state park systems.
Parks Stewardship Forum
DOI of Published Version
Copyright © The Authors
Liu, Hung-Ling (Stella), I-Chun (Nicky) Wu, and Michael J. Bradley. 2021. To fee or not to fee? Satisfaction, service quality, and support of an entrance fee of a state park system. Parks Stewardship Forum 37(1): 244–252.
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