Place Attachment in protected areas: an exploratory study
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With the increasing number of destinations there is a need to study visitors’ behaviour and how to achieve their loyalty. The aim of this exploratory study is to test and analyse the Place Attachment’ scale in the context of tourist destinations by considering its various dimensions. The methodology applied was quantitative, and data collection was carried out through the use of a questionnaire survey. The territory under analysis was a protected area in Northern Portugal, Peneda‐Gerês, the only national park in the country. A total of 507 valid questionnaires were collected and subsequently coded. According to the data collected, there are dimensions in which the degree of agreement is higher than others: the dimensions of Place Dependence and Place Identity stand out in relation to the dimensions of Affective Attachment and Social Bonds. This happens because people frequent certain places more because of what the place provides or offers than for the social relationships that may occur in that place.