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Enjoying elephant watching: a study on social carrying capacity of Kawdulla National Park in Sri Lanka

Authors:

R. M. W. Rathnayake ,

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya, LK
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U. A. D. P. Gunawardena

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, LK
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Abstract

The goal of this study was to investigate the social carrying capacity (SCC) of Kawdulla National Park (KNP) in terms of vehicle crowding. Crowding was considered as the social norm to estimate the standards for SCC. The normative theory approach was applied in this study and a social norm curve was prepared. Based on the hypothesis visitor acceptability or tolerance influenced by vehicle crowding, images with different number of vehicles were generated. The crowding standard for SCC was estimated as 9 vehicles within 25 m radius by asking each respondent whether the presented scenarios were acceptable or not. Statistically, it was proven that socio economic status of visitors mainly affect on the acceptability of vehicle crowding. The average visitor acceptability for enjoying elephant watching has decreased with the increasing number of vehicles (crowding). Therefore the results of the present study could be applied in decision making to diversify the tourism activities in order to maintain the visitor satisfaction on enjoying elephant watching.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/suslj.v12i1.6984

Sabaragamuwa University Journal 2013; V. 12 No. 1 pp 23-39

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/suslj.v12i1.6984
How to Cite: Rathnayake, R.M.W. & Gunawardena, U.A.D.P., (2014). Enjoying elephant watching: a study on social carrying capacity of Kawdulla National Park in Sri Lanka. Sabaragamuwa University Journal. 12(1), pp.23–39. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/suslj.v12i1.6984
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Published on 09 Jun 2014.
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