Date of Graduation

12-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Kelly A. Way

Committee Member

Robert Harrington

Second Committee Member

Jacquelyn D. Wiersma

Keywords

Education; Heritage tourism; Historic attractions; Hospitality; Millennial generation; Push pull factors; Travel motivation

Abstract

This study investigated `push' and `pull' motivational factors which influence Millennial Generation tourists' decisions to visit heritage tourism destinations and their knowledge of Civil War and Antebellum heritage sites within the state of Arkansas. A descriptive, six-section survey was distributed to Millennial students from varying degree fields at three universities within Arkansas. Four hundred twenty-four participants completed the questionnaire with measures of demographic information, visitation and frequency to heritage tourism sites, push factors, pull factors, heritage tourism sites in Arkansas, and historic preservation participation.

The results of this study showed that although Millennial students do not visit heritage sites frequently, there are certain sets of push and pull motivational factors that influence their decisions to visit these sites, including knowledge driven factors (push) and historical factors (pull). Results also showed that many students attending universities in the state recognized heritage sites in the most densely populated areas, but did not recognize those in the less populated areas; although, many stated they would like to visit them. Lastly, the results of this study suggest that although Millennial students find historic preservation to be important, a majority of them do not participate in preservation efforts.

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