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Niño Redaca Rebuya


Globally, the role of protected area is recognised as solutions to environmental, social, and cultural challenges based on the current 2011-2020 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Strategic Plan. The growing popularity of natural parks has proven to be both an opportunity and a threat to its resources; it is an opportunity to maintain the high quality of visitors’ experience, however, poses a challenge to conservation of resources for future generations. Hence, this study which employed mixed method of research that looked into the present status of Bulusan Volcano Natural Park (BVNP) as a local conservation area and assessed the visitors’ experiences as to entertainment, educational, escapism, and esthetic. Data were gathered from 200 respondents composed of on-site same-day local visitors and selected volunteers in BVNP. Findings showed that BVNP as a conservation area is committed to address park’s issues and concerns through its sound conservation strategies while fostering social and economic development with the active presence of Aggrupation of Advocates for Environmental Protection (AGAP) Bulusan, Inc. It can be noted that the four realms were experienced good by the visitors with emphasis on escapism which involves higher level of engagement and active participation in the natural settings and the destination’s environment. The feeling of being isolated from the urban society is what BVNP makes more significant to visitors. However, entertainment products should be improved to give more authentic cultural (tangible and intangible) entertainment experience. Further studies can be conducted on the relationship of visitor experience and resource protection strategies in the park. 


Keywords: conservation, ecotourism, natural park, protected area, visitor experience


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