J. People Plants Environ Search

CLOSE


J. People Plants Environ > Volume 26(5); 2023 > Article
Kang, Kim, Ko, and Lee: Structural Equation Modeling Analysis of Factors Affecting the Loyalty of Forest Trail Users

ABSTRACT

Background and objective: With the increasing public awareness of health due to COVID-19 and the quality of life, people have come to prefer natural spaces with fewer crowds. Public use of forest trails is increasing as a place that satisfies the demand for such natural spaces. As a result, the basic plans for trails and mountaineering support were established, and there has been government-level support such as the establishment of the Korea Mountaineering Support Center, which resulted in a quantitative and qualitative increase in the use of forest trails. Accordingly, efforts must be made to ensure satisfaction and loyalty in using forest trails.
Methods: Therefore, this study identified the factors affecting the overall satisfaction and loyalty toward forest trails through structural equation modeling. As for the research data, we used data from the Fact-finding Survey on Forest Welfare Facility Users to analyze the use of forest trails.
Results: As a result, safety and comfort, kindness, travel time, and program experience variety had a significant effect directly and indirectly on overall satisfaction and loyalty. Safety and comfort affected personal activity experience variety, while kindness affected program experience variety. For travel time, the direct effect on loyalty showed a positive correlation, but the indirect effect showed a negative correlation.
Conclusion: These results showed that safety should be considered a top priority on forest trails, and that long travel time to forest trails could be a factor that increases loyalty by offering various programs. In addition, loyalty has a multifaceted correlation between several factors, suggesting that it is necessary to consider not only direct effects but also indirect effects.

Introduction

Recently, there has been increasing public interest in enjoying the natural environment and promoting health through forest trails. With this growing public interest in hiking culture, the Forestry Culture and Recreation Act was amended in 2011, through which forest trails are defined as paths formed in forests for activities such as mountain climbing, trekking, leisure sports, exploration, or relaxation and healing, which was intended to prepare for diverse public interests in forest trails as well as an increase in usage. Accordingly, basic plans for forest trails to systematically create, operate, and manage forest trails and basic plans for mountaineering support to meet the demands for quantitative increase and conservation of forest facilities were established. Moreover, Korea Mountaineering Support Center was designated as a public institution in February 2020 to spread a healthy culture of mountain climbing and support mountaineering activities of citizens based on the basic plans for mountaineering support. In 2021, forest trails with high historical and cultural value have been designated as national forest trails, satisfying the public interest.
According to the ‘2022 National Leisure Activity Survey’ conducted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, mountains (11.4%) was ranked 6th most popular out of 70 leisure spaces that people want to use most, and strolling and walking (43.%) was ranked 2nd for the leisure activity in which they participated most (sum of 1st through 3rd) (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, 2022). This shows that there has been an increasing interest in forest trails, with people perceiving forest trails as a place where they can enjoy leisure safely, away from the crowds and the risk of COVID-19 (Kim and Lee, 2021; Chang et al., 2021).
There is a need for a qualitative increase along with the quantitative increase in the use of forest trails. Through the ‘2nd Basic Plan for the Creation and Management of Forest Trails (Korea Forest Service, 2022)’, Korea Forest Service is promoting expansion of forest trail services by improving the quality of forest trails through functional improvement, providing high-quality forest trail services, and developing forest trail tourism programs to promote use of forest trails. The ‘Manual for the Creation, Operation, and Management of Forest Trails’ (Korea Forest Service, 2022)’ is providing policies for the creation, methods, operation, and management of forest trails to improve safety and quality of forest trails. Moreover, Korea Mountaineering Support Center seeks to improve the quality of forest trails by offering forest trail programs such as forest trail walking expeditions and experience programs.
Improving services and programs for better quality of forest trails leads to satisfaction and loyalty toward forest trails. In fact, managers of tourist spots such as forest trails focus on repeat visitors by increasing the attractiveness and loyalty of the tourist spots (Meleddu et al., 2015, Van Dyk et al., 2019). Accordingly, forest studies are conducted on satisfaction and loyalty. Han (2022) proposed a structural equation model to examine the determinants of satisfaction and loyalty of users of centers for forest activities, and Koo et al. (2015) analyzed satisfaction and loyalty according to service quality in mountain horseback riding activities. Hong et al. (2010) analyzed the relationship between satisfaction and revisit depending the value perceived by arboretum users and suggested a strategy for arboretum management. There has been continuous research on satisfaction and loyalty regarding forests, but there is insufficient research on forest trails, and thus there is a need for a multifaceted analysis.
Therefore, with reference to previous studies, this study selected service satisfaction and travel time of users visiting forest trails as independent variables, personal activity experience variety and program experience variety as mediating variables, and overall satisfaction and loyalty as dependent variables, and designed structural equation modeling (SEM) for a multifaceted analysis. This study intends to examine the factors affecting loyalty and satisfaction and the relationship between them through the structural equation model.

Research Methods

Research subjects and data

Data from the ‘2022 Fact-finding Survey on Forest Welfare Facility Users’ conducted by Korea Forest Welfare Institute were used to analyze the effects on and relationship between overall satisfaction and loyalty of forest trail users. The fact-finding survey was conducted to comprehensively identify and analyze the status of public use of forest welfare services according to Article 6 of the Forest Welfare Promotion Act and Article 6 of the Enforcement Decree of the same Act. The survey was conducted on users who visited forest welfare facilities for approximately 3 months from August to October 2022 by trained inspectors using a structured questionnaire on site. This study selected only 292 respondents who used forest trails in 9 facilities as the subjects, and conducted analysis on 279 respondents except 13 of them with missing values or insincere responses. For demographic characteristics, their gender, age, marital status, child status, and average monthly household income were surveyed (Table 1). For facility use characteristics, their service satisfaction, travel time, personal activity experience variety, program experience variety, overall satisfaction, and loyalty were examined (Table 2). The variables included in service satisfaction, overall satisfaction, and loyalty were all rated on a 11-point Likert scale from 0 to 10 points. Service satisfaction was designed in 20 items based on the PCSI (Public-service Customer Satisfaction Index), but total 14 items were selected for analysis after eliminating 6 items (parking facilities, entrance fee, souvenirs, handling complaints, public transportation, experiential activities) showing low response rates as the relevant services were not experienced. For travel time, the respondents were to write their own responses. For personal activity experience variety and program experience variety, the respondents were to choose from multiple choices about forest trail activities, enjoying natural scenery, forest bathing, picnics, forest life experience, forest exercises, observing and learning about plants and animals, visiting tourist attractions, and others, after which the total score for the activities was used.

Research model

This study established a research model with reference to previous studies to identify the factors affecting overall satisfaction and loyalty of forest trail users and determine the path and mediation effect.
Previous studies confirmed that satisfaction and loyalty toward tourist facilities and forest welfare were affected by service satisfaction in the facilities. In a study comparing the characteristics of using recreational forests and arboretum, Yoo et al. (2020) confirmed that service satisfaction has a positive correlation with overall satisfaction and loyalty. Sim and Lee (2010) and Kim and Jeong (2017) discovered that festival experiences and services affect visitor satisfaction and loyalty. A study analyzing the impact of service quality at social welfare facilities on revisit also formed a significant positive correlation between social welfare service quality, facility satisfaction, and user loyalty (Yun, 2021). The PCSI used in this study was developed to overcome the limitations of the existing customer satisfaction indices by reflecting the specificity of public institutions. The existing customer satisfaction indices such as the ACSI/NCSI mostly take approaches only in terms of perceived customer satisfaction. The KCSI uses repurchase intention, which is a concept of loyalty, in calculating the satisfaction index, which leads to an ambiguous relationship between variables. The KS-SQI and SSI are designed to calculate the service quality index instead of customer satisfaction index. Lee and YI (2012) made up for the deficiencies of previous customer satisfaction indices and developed the PCSI, a customer satisfaction index specialized for public institutions. Chae et al. (2023) used the PCSI to analyze factors affecting service quality satisfaction of visitors in forest welfare facilities, and Jeon et al. (2023) analyzed satisfaction in education to derive points to improve in forest education, which shows that the PCSI is used in forest studies to measure customer satisfaction. Service is the first and closest factor perceived by users in a facility. Therefore, it is important to clearly identify and implement the relationship with service satisfaction to increase satisfaction and loyalty in facilities such as forest trails.
In addition to service satisfaction, accessibility such as travel time is also one of the major determinants of overall satisfaction and loyalty. Accessibility is a tourist destination choice attribute that gives tourists a positive tourist attitude toward destinations (Kim, 2020), and a study on ways to improve forest trail management confirmed that accessibility affects facility satisfaction (Oh et al., 2018). Moreover, accessibility also turned out to be a factor for revisiting tourist destinations along with hygiene, accommodation, price, and service (Park et al., 2021). As such, accessibility to facilities is a fundamental factor that affects satisfaction and loyalty along with service. Therefore, in the model of this study, we selected service satisfaction and travel time as accessibility as independent variables.
We selected personal activity experience variety and program experience variety as mediating variables connecting dependent variables such as overall satisfaction and loyalty and independent variables such as service satisfaction and travel time. Personal activity experience variety refers to the number of activities experienced by an individual without being accompanied by an expert in the forest trail, and program experience variety refers to the number of programs experienced while being accompanied by an expert. In tourism, experience tourism is defined as tourism activities directly experienced with the body, and experiential activities categorized into creativity, playfulness, aesthetics, and deviance are all reported to have a significant effect on satisfaction (Han and Ryu, 2020). Han (2022) performed structural equation modeling to analyze the determinants of satisfaction and loyalty of users in centers for forest activities. The results showed that satisfaction affects loyalty, and user satisfaction increased according to understandability, usefulness, and expertise of the educational program. Moreover, Lee et al. (2016) confirmed that longer usage time of the forest healing program conducted in the healing forest leads to higher satisfaction.
Loyalty used as a dependent variable is a variable about actual behavior, not a psychological variable such as satisfaction toward the facility. Loyalty is defined as the intention to repurchase and continuously use the preferred products and services (Oliver, 1999). Research on the concept of loyalty began in marketing (Cornin and Taylor, 1992; Lee and Yoon, 2004) and has led to tourism (Byun and Choi, 2007; Park et al., 2014). However, it is not sufficiently used in forest studies. In marketing and tourism, the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty is accepted almost as an established theory based on many previous studies (Anderson and Srinivasan, 2003), and there is on-going research in the field. Thus, forest studies must also confirm the relationship between forest welfare facilities and users by proving this relationship.
A structural equation model was established based on these studies (Fig. 1). We intend to identify the impact in each relationship by selecting service satisfaction and travel time as independent variables, personal activity experience variety and program experience variety as mediating variables, and overall satisfaction and loyalty as dependent variables.

Analysis methods and tools

Structural equation analysis was conducted to analyze the research model established based on previous studies. Structural equation modeling is widely used in various fields due to its advantages of being able to handle latent variables and analyze direct relationships between multiple variables through path analysis and indirect relationships through mediation analysis. Structural equation modeling consists of a measurement model to measure latent variables and a structural model to analyze the cause and effect of latent variables. First, we analyzed the measurement model based on latent variables revealed through exploratory factor analysis (EFA). We used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to assess the measurement model. In confirmatory factor analysis, we analyzed unidimensionality, reliability, and validity. Unidimensionality is when the observed variable measures only one latent variable, and factor loadings were analyzed to confirm this. Reliability confirms whether the measurement scale accurate measures what it intends to measure, and it was confirmed using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. Finally, validity is to confirm whether the measurement scale faithfully measures what it intends to measure, and it can be classified into convergent validity and discriminant validity. Convergent validity was analyzed using average variance extracted (AVE) and composite reliability (CR), and discriminant validity was analyzed through the relationship between the correlation coefficient between latent variables and the square root of the AVE.
In the structural model analysis, we analyzed absolute fit, incremental fit, and parsimonious fit to analyze the goodness-of-fit of the structural model, and analyzed the relationship between latent variables through path analysis and mediation analysis. We used bootstrapping for mediation analysis (Kwahk, 2019).

Results

Descriptive statistics

The means and standard deviations (SD) of variables included in the structural equation modeling are as follows (Table 3). For service satisfaction, the forest trail consistent the purpose of the visit (8.48), facilities and services guidance (8.47), and kindness of the staff such as information centers (8.41) showed high satisfaction, as well as high overall satisfaction (7.95) and loyalty (7.82). The mean of travel time was 1.33 hours, the mean of personal activity experience variety was 3.91, and the mean of program experience variety was 0.52.

Testing the measurement model

To test the measurement model, we conducted exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. We eliminated 1 measurement variable (accessibility of trails) in which communality did not exceed 0.5 in exploratory factor analysis and 6 measurement variables (various activities are possible in the trails, the forest trail consistent the purpose of the visit, convenient for the elderly and the weak, sufficient tourist resources around the trails, excellent natural scenery of trails, and natural environment management status in trails) in which factor loadings did not exceed 0.7 or did not fit the model to ensure unidimensionality in confirmatory factor analysis. After excluding total 7 measurement variables, there were total 7 items for service satisfaction, classified into 2 factors: kindness, and safety and comfort. The results of analyzing the two factors of service satisfaction such as kindness and safety and comfort as well as loyalty showed that all exceeded 0.7 (Table 4).
We presented convergent validity and discriminant validity to confirm the construct validity of the measurement model. We confirmed the AVE and CR to test the convergent validity (Table 5). Convergent validity is confirmed when the AVE is greater than 0.5 and the CR is greater than 0.7, and the research model in this study meets all criteria. Discriminant validity is confirmed when the correlation coefficient between latent variables is smaller than the square root of the AVE (Hair et al., 2010). In this study, the correlation coefficient between all latent variables was smaller than the square root of the AVE, thereby ensuring validity. The final model revised through the testing of the measurement model is as shown in Fig. 2.

Model fit analysis in structural equation modeling

The fit of the structural equation model was tested by absolute fit indices GFI (Goodness of Fit Index) and RMSEA (Root Mean Square Error of Approximation), incremental fit indices TLI (Turker-Lewis Index) and CFI (Comparative Fit Index), and parsimonious fit index x2/df (Table 6). Absolute fit indices measure the difference between observed data and data predicted by the model, and the model is considered fit when GFI is greater than 0.9 and RMSEA is within the range of 0.05 – 0.08 (Browne and Cudeck, 1993). Incremental fit indices improve the model fit by variables, and the model is considered fit when TLI and CFI are greater than 0.9 (Bentler and Bonett, 1980; Bentler, 1990). Parsimonious fit indices assess the fit considering the complexity of the model, and the model is considered fit when x2/df does not exceed 3.0. The fit indices of the structural equation model in this study all met the criteria, thereby proving that the model is fit.

Structural equation modeling and path analysis

The path coefficients of the research model through structural equation modeling are as follows (Fig. 3, Table 7). In personal activity experience variety, safety and comfort seemed to have an effect. In program experience variety, kindness and travel time had an effect. In overall satisfaction, program experience variety, kindness, and safety and comfort had significance. In loyalty, kindness, safety and comfort, travel time, and overall satisfaction had significance. Travel time showed a negative correlation with loyalty.

Mediation effect analysis

We examined the direct effects between variables through the path analysis before and identified the indirect effects through mediation effect analysis. Bootstrapping was used to test the mediation effect (Table 8). The results showed that safety and comfort and program experience variety had an indirect effect on loyalty through overall satisfaction. Travel time had an indirect effect on overall satisfaction through program experience variety. Moreover, travel time also had an effect on loyalty through program experience variety and overall satisfaction.

Discussion

Forest trails are receiving legal and policy support with the growing public interest. People are taking walks in the mountains as a leisure activity to avoid COVID-19, and the government is providing support for forest trails by establishing the basic plans for forest trails, publishing the Manual for the Creation, Operation, and Management of Forest Trails, and launching the Korea Mountaineering Support Center. With such public interest and policy support for forest trails, it is necessary to understand the relationship between usage characteristics and user satisfaction and loyalty toward forest trails. Accordingly, this study developed a structural equation model by selecting kindness, safety and comfort, travel time, personal activity experience variety, program experience variety, overall satisfaction, and loyalty as variables to examine the factors affecting satisfaction and loyalty toward forest trails.
We intend to examine the results of path analysis with focus on the effect of independent variables on mediating and dependent variables. First, safety and comfort had a significant positive effect on personal activity experience variety, overall satisfaction, and loyalty. The importance of safety and comfort is revealed by a previous study (Chang et al., 2016) showing that users of forest welfare facilities perceive the importance of safety, such as ensuring safety and response manuals in emergency situations. Korea Tourism Organization (2020) emphasized the importance of safety by announcing that ’safety’ has become top priority in tourism activities through big data analysis. The results of this study also show that safety and comfort have the greatest impact on satisfaction and loyalty, showing the same results as previous studies. Next, kindness had a positive effect on program experience variety, overall satisfaction, and loyalty. This is consistent with previous research showing that kindness of the staff increases the intention to continue participating in programs (Park et al., 2015) and loyalty toward facilities (Han et al., 2018).
Safety and comfort and kindness both had a positive effect on overall satisfaction and loyalty, but safety and comfort had an effect only on personal activity experience variety, and kindness only on program experience variety. Safety and comfort affect the trust of users (Kim and Kim, 2015; Xu et al., 2018; Lee, 2021), indicating that personal activities without staff are increasing based on trust in the facilities. On the other hand, kindness generated interest in activities accompanied by staff, which resulted in experiencing relevant programs.
Next, travel time affected program experience variety and loyalty. In the relationship with loyalty, shorter travel time led to higher loyalty, and in the relationship with program experience variety, longer travel time led to higher program experience variety. In the relationship with program experience variety, it seems that when a facility requires longer travel time and has lower accessibility, visitors experience a variety of programs to receive better quality services when they visit the facility. This result is consistent with previous research that shorter travel time leads to higher loyalty (Hyun and Kim, 2016).
The results of this study showed that travel time did not have a direct effect on overall satisfaction, but the indirect effect mediated by program experience variety showed a positive correlation. This result is contrary to previous studies (Oh et al., 2018; Acharya et al, 2023) revealing that shorter travel time leads to higher satisfaction. This difference may be due to the fact that, while many studies analyzed the direct correlation between travel time and satisfaction, this study revealed only an indirect correlation through program experience variety.
Travel time was proved to have a negative correlation with loyalty, but in the path of travel time-program experience variety-overall satisfaction-loyalty through the mediation effect, travel time and loyalty had a positive correlation. This result is similar to the relationship between travel time and overall satisfaction explained earlier. Like the relationship between travel time and overall satisfaction, providing services such as various programs that meet the purpose of visitors helps meet the overall satisfaction, thereby increasing loyalty. However, while the coefficient of the direct effect was −.125, that of the indirect effect was .020, which basically shows that the direct effect has a greater effect on loyalty, showing that the total effect had a negative correlation. This indicates that if facilities with poor physical accessibility do not provide a variety of programs, it will lead to a decline in loyalty.
Next, the results of examining personal activity experience variety and program experience variety are as follows. Personal activity experience variety did not have an effect on both overall satisfaction and loyalty, and program experience variety had a significant effect on overall satisfaction. Program experience variety also showed a significant correlation with loyalty through overall satisfaction. Moreover, program experience variety is a mediating variable with other variables and has a mediation effect on overall satisfaction and loyalty. The programs provided by forest welfare facilities were proved necessary for facility users through effectiveness verification (Korea Forest Welfare Institute, 2023), but there is insufficient research on the impact on loyalty toward the facilities. The results of this study confirmed that forest welfare programs affect the loyalty of facility users and proved the importance of programs in operating forest trails.

Conclusion

This study was conducted to analyze the correlation between service satisfaction of forest trail users (safety and comfort, kindness), travel time, activities on forest trails (personal activity experience variety, program experience variety), overall satisfaction, and loyalty through structural equation modeling. We used data from the ‘2022 Fact-finding Survey on Forest Welfare Facility Users’ for analysis, and for the research model, we selected safety and comfort, kindness, and travel time as independent variables, personal activity experience variety and program experience variety as mediating variables, and overall satisfaction and loyalty as dependent variables.
The following implications were derived in summary of the results of structural equation modeling. First, safety of forest trails is the top priority factor in forest trails by increasing personal activities of users based on trust in the facility and increasing overall satisfaction and loyalty toward the facility. The results of this study show an increase in personal activities and loyalty, which will lead to an overall increase in forest trail visitors.
Second, forest trails that are far from densely populated areas must offer a variety of programs. As shown in the results of this study, travel time is a factor that inhibits loyalty toward forest trails, but offering a variety of programs can increase overall satisfaction and loyalty. We must consider the phenomenon of longer travel time due to long distance from densely populated areas not just as a factor that deteriorates satisfaction toward forest trails, but as a factor that helps meet the satisfaction by offering high-quality services such as various forest trail programs for users. In a study by Kim (2021), longer distance in terms of time and space led to higher satisfaction in choosing tourism products. Kaplan (1987) suggested being away and compatibility as some of the conditions for a restorative environment that helps people recover from urban fatigue. Being away refers to the sense of being physically and psychologically away from an environment that causes fatigue, and compatibility refers to meeting the purpose for visiting the place. Long travel time to forest trails causes a sense of being away from stressors, and program experience variety as a mediating variable meets the purpose of users visiting the facility, thereby meeting the overall satisfaction toward the facility.
Third, various factors in forest welfare activities have a complex relationship with overall satisfaction and loyalty. Both service satisfaction (safety and comfort) and travel time had direct effects as well as indirect effects through mediating variables. In particular, travel time showed a negative correlation in the direct effect with loyalty, but showed a positive correlation in the indirect effect, thereby proving a multifaceted relationship. Hong and Desai (2020) discovered that people preferred going on vacations to distant areas over nearby areas. An and Lee (2017) revealed that spatial distance des not affect visit intention. Kah et al. (2016) showed that long distance to the travel destination serves as a hindrance. These studies imply that travel time shows results in various aspects in terms of leisure activities. These results show that the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty and the factors affecting them is a complex and multifaceted relationship. As even the same variable shows different results, it is necessary to examine not only the direct effect in the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty but also the complex relationships with other factors as well.
There were limitations derived along with the conclusions above. First, we included only 7 out of 20 PSCI items in the structural equation modeling, thereby failing to analyze the other 13 items. Many items such as convenience, affordability, and aesthetics were excluded from the analysis of structural equation model fit, and thus we could not examine the correlations and characteristics of each of the diverse service items. It is necessary to consider analyzing various items by simplifying the structural equation model in the future.
Second, a variable about the number of activities or experiences in the facility must be added. Although we analyzed the variety of activities such as personal activity experience variety and program experience variety, we could not analyze the number of experiences since it was not included in the survey. Since the number of visits to a facility or experiences of a specific activity is due to the continuous use of the facility, there may be a correlation with loyalty toward the facility. However, actual analysis has not been conducted, which raises the need to examine the relationship with other variables in addition to partial correlations.
Follow-up research must be conducted in consideration of the implications and limitations above. Although this study limited the analysis to forest trails, further research will hopefully analyze each of forest welfare facilities as they have their own characteristics. It is necessary to make the most use of service satisfaction items to identify the characteristics of each facility, and apply more diverse forest welfare usage characteristics such as the number of experiences in forest welfare to the analysis. In addition, there is a need to analyze the variety of programs provided in each facility and revisit rates to verify the importance of program experience variety in this study.

Fig. 1
Research model.
ksppe-2023-26-5-551f1.jpg
Fig. 2
Diagram of final model.
ksppe-2023-26-5-551f2.jpg
Fig. 3
Diagram of path analysis result (mark only paths that indicate significance).
ksppe-2023-26-5-551f3.jpg
Table 1
Demographic characteristics
Variables N % Variables N %
Gender Male 133 47.7 Marital Married 185 66.3
Female 146 52.3 Unmarried 94 33.7

Age 10’s 28 10.0 Child No child 91 32.6
20’s 26 9.3 Preschool child 35 12.5
30’s 54 19.4 Schooled child 56 20.1
40’s 60 21.5 Adult child 97 34.8

50’s 57 20.4 Monthly income (million won) 0≦x<3 46 16.5
60’s 47 16.8 3≦x<6 169 60.6
70’s 7 2.5 6≦x 64 22.9
Table 2
Facility use characteristics
Latent Variables Measurement Variables Latent Variables Measurement Variables
Service satisfaction Facilities and services guidance Service satisfaction Sufficient tourist resources around the trails
Accessibility of trails
Excellent natural scenery of trails
Natural environment management status in trails
Kindness of the staff
Various activities are possible in the trails
Consistent with the purpose of the visit Travel time
Convenient for the elderly and the weak Personal activity experience variety
Safety of trails Program experience variety
Safety of installation facilities in trails Overall satisfaction
Maintenance of a promenade Loyalty Intention to revisit the trails
Intention to use forest welfare facilities and services
Intention to recommend a trails
Management of facilities
Sufficiency of facilities
Table 3
Descriptive statistics of facility usage
Latent Variables Measurement Variables Mean SD Latent Variables Measurement Variables Mean SD
Service satisfaction Facilities and services guidance 8.47 1.243 Service satisfaction Sufficient tourist resources around the trails 8.38 1.300

Kindness of the staff 8.41 1.263 Accessibility of trails 8.14 1.450

Various activities are possible in the trails 8.06 1.481 Excellent natural scenery of trails 8.35 1.257

Consistent with the purpose of the visit 8.48 1.187 Natural Environment Management Status in trails 8.41 1.159

Travel time 1.33 1.356

Convenient for the elderly and the weak 7.68 1.648 Personal activity experience variety 3.91 1.653

Safety of trails 7.84 1.406 Program experience variety 0.52 1.280

Safety of Installation Facilities in trails 7.96 1.381 Overall satisfaction 7.95 1.185

Maintenance of a promenade 8.05 1.305 Loyalty Intention to revisit the trails 7.78 1.438

Management of facilities 7.91 1.305 Intention to use forest welfare facilities and services 7.85 1.265

Sufficiency of facilities 8.01 1.313 Intention to recommend a trails 7.84 1.336
Table 4
Unidimensionality and reliability test
Latent Variables Measurement Variables Coefficient SE CR Cronbach’s

Standardized Unstandardized
Kindness Facilities and services guidance 1 0.717 - - 0.776
Kindness of the staff 1.252 0.883 0.145 8.642

Safety and Comfort Safety of trails 1 0.817 - - 0.930
Safety of installation facilities in trails 1.006 0.836 0.047 21.172
Maintenance of a promenade 1.015 0.894 0.056 18.099
Management of facilities 0.910 0.801 0.059 15.442
Sufficiency of facilities 1.012 0.886 0.057 17.875

Loyalty Intention to revisit the trails 1 0.783 - - 0.895
Intention to use forest welfare facilities and services 1.082 0.912 0.070 15.465
Intention to recommend a trails 0.883 0.786 0.046 19.165

* Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin: 0.866

* Bartlett:1471.773***

Table 5
Convergent validity and discriminant validity test (bold text marked with * represents the square root value of AVE)
Personal activity experience variety Program experience variety Travel time Kindness Safety and Comfort Overall satisfaction Loyalty AVE CR
Personal activity experience variety - - - - - - - - -
Program experience variety 0.155 - - - - - - - -
Travel time 0.048 0.320 - - - - - - -
Kindness −0.057 0.339 0.080 0.806* - - - 0.649 0.785
Safety and Comfort 0.123 0.227 0.001 0.488 0.847* - - 0.717 0.876
Overall satisfaction 0.097 0.353 0.073 0.472 0.694 - - - -
Loyalty 0.063 0.249 −0.079 0.514 0.723 0.769 0.828* 0.686 0.783
Table 6
Goodness-of-fit measure
Final Model GFI RMSEA TLI CFI x2 df x2/df
0.946 0.059 0.963 0.977 113.712 58 1.96
Table 7
Path analysis result
Dependent Independent Standardized Coefficient Z p-value sig
Loyalty Personal activity experience variety −0.01 −0.241 0.810 -
Program experience variety −0.006 −0.126 0.900 -
Travel time −0.125 −2.891 0.004 **
Kindness 0.152 2.723 0.006 **
Safety and Comfort 0.32 5.13 0.000 ***
Overall satisfaction 0.488 8.148 0.000 ***

Overall satisfaction Personal activity experience variety 0.005 0.106 0.916 -
Program experience variety 0.164 3.422 0.001 ***
Travel time 0.008 0.178 0.859 -
Kindness 0.153 2.706 0.007 **
Safety and Comfort 0.588 12.913 0.000 ***

Program experience variety Travel time 0.299 5.742 0.000 ***
Kindness 0.26 3.833 0.000 ***
Safety and Comfort 0.113 1.738 0.082 -

Personal activity experience variety Travel time 0.058 0.981 0.326 -
Kindness −0.134 −1.785 0.074 -
Safety and Comfort 0.185 2.626 0.009 **

** : p < .01,

*** : p < .001

Table 8
Mediation effect analysis results (mark only paths that indicate significance)
Path Standardized Coefficient Z p-value
Safety and Comfort → Overall satisfaction → Loyalty 0.281 4.969 0.000
Program experience variety → Overall satisfaction → Loyalty 0.070 2.308 0.021
Travel time → Program experience variety → Overall satisfaction 0.043 2.315 0.021
Travel time → Program experience variety → Overall satisfaction → Loyalty 0.020 2.004 0.045

References

Acharya, S., M. Mekker, P.A. Singleton. 2023. Validating the satisfaction with travel scale and measuring long-distance recreational travel satisfaction. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. 95:1-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2023.03.015
crossref
Arboretum Visitors. Jour. Korean For. Soc. 99(4):517-527.

Bentler, P.M. 1990. Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin. 107(2):238-246. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.107.2.238
crossref pmid
Bentler, P.M., D.G. Bonett. 1980. Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. Psychological Bulletin. 88(3):588-606. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.88.3.588
crossref
Browne, M.W., R. Cudeck. 1993. Alternative ways of assessing model fit. Sociological Methods and Research. 21(2):230-258. https://doi.org/10.1177/0049124192021002005
crossref
Byun, S.Y., B.K. Choi. 2007. A structural model of the relationship among tourist motivation, satisfaction and destination loyalty. Journal of Tourism and Leisure Research. 19(3):29-48.

Chae, J.H., J.H. Lee, S.H. Kim. 2023. Analysis of factors influencing service quality satisfaction of visitors based on the PCSI Model. The Journal of Korean institute of Forest Recreation. 27(2):53-66.

Chang, C.Y., R.H. Yoo, J.T. Lynn. 2016. A Study on Choice Attributes of Recreation Forest Visitors. The Journal of Korean institute of Forest Recreation. 20(2):15-31. https://doi.org/10.34272/forest.2016.20.2.002
crossref
Chang, C.Y., S.H. Park, A.R. Seol. 2021. Factors affecting changes in forest recreational activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Korean Society of Forest Science. 110(4):711-723. https://doi.org/10.14578/jkfs.2021.110.4.711
crossref
Cornin, J.J. Jr, S.A. Taylor. 1992. Measuring service quality: A reexamination and extension. Journal of Marketing. 56(3):55-68. https://doi.org/10.1177/002224299205600304
crossref
Hair, J.F., W.C. Black, B.J. Babin, R.E. Anderson. 2010. Multivariate data analysis: Pearson college division Pearson College Division. Person. London, UK:

Han, G.J., I.P. Ryu. 2020. A Study on the Relationship of Rural tourism service quality, experience, image, satisfaction, and loyalty. Journal of Tourism Management Research. 24(7):449-472.
crossref
Han, M.S., J.G. Jang, S.H. Park. 2018. Analysis of the satisfaction factors in Daegu arboretum Chrysanthemum exhibition. J The Journal of Korean institute of Forest Recreation. 22(2):71-78. https://doi.org/10.34272/forest.2018.22.2.007
crossref
Han, S.Y. 2022. Structural equation modeling analysis on the effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty of SoopCheWon: In the case of Cheongdo SoopCheWon. The Journal of Korean institute of Forest Recreation. 26(1):29-38. https://doi.org/10.34272/forest.2022.26.1.003
crossref
Hong, J.H., K.K. Desai. 2020. Variety-seeking behavior and information processing in choosing a vacation destination. Journal of Travel Research. 59(5):850-863. https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287519862871
crossref
Hong, S.K., J.H. Kim, S.J. Kim, H.C. Jang, S.H. Lee, Y.L. Tae, Y.H. Kim. 2010. Perceived value, satisfaction and revisit Intention for arboretum Visitors. Journal of Korean Society of Forest Science. 99(4):517-527.

Hyun, J.H., K.B. Kim. 2016. Effects the satisfaction, revisit and intention of recommendation by the image of the local festival: Focused on the pork festival in Jeju. The Journal of the Korea Contents Association. 16(6):493-506. https://doi.org/10.5392/JKCA.2016.16.06.493
crossref
Jeon, S.H., D.W. Joung, B.J. Park. 2023. A Study on educational satisfaction and type preference for improving distance forest education program. The Journal of Korean institute of Forest Recreation. 27(1):79-91.

Kah, J.A., C.K. Lee, S.H. Lee. 2016. Spatial-temporal distances in travel intention-behavior. Annals of Tourism Research. 57:160-175.
crossref
Kim, G.H., S.G. Lee. 2021. An analysis of user perception regarding trail related cafes and blogs using big data collected over 10 years. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Studies. 23(3):34-52. https://doi.org/10.31667/jhts.2021.9.88.34
crossref
Kim, J.H. 2020. A study on the importance of satisfaction according to the selection attributes of wellness tourism: Case study of Gwangju and Jeonnam. International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research. 34(11):21-35. https://doi.org/10.21298/IJTHR.2020.11.34.11.21
crossref
Kim, S.I., C. Jeong. 2017. The effect of service quality on visitor’s satisfaction and loyalty in university festival: Based on tangible and intangible factors. Journal of Tourism Studies. 29(4):103-123. https://doi.org/10.21581/jts.2017.11.29.4.103
crossref
Kim, S.J. 2021. The Effect of Temporal and Spatial Distance of Tourism Product on Product Choice and Choice Satisfaction: An Application of Construal Level Theory. Journal of Tourism Sciences. 45(1):109-129. https://doi.org/10.17086/JTS.2020.45.1.109.129
crossref
Kim, Y.N., C.S. Kim. 2015. Relation of social security network, community unity and local government trust. Korean Security Journal. 42:7-36.

Koo, D.Y., S.Y. Han, K.W. Sim. 2015. A study on change of satisfaction and loyalty according to the service quality of trail riding activity. The Journal of Korean institute of Forest Recreation. 19(3):41-49. https://doi.org/10.34272/forest.2015.19.3.005
crossref
Korea Forest Welfare Institute (FoWI). 2023 2022 Forest welfare program effectiveness verification research report Daejeon, Korea. FoWI; Retrieved from https://www.fowi.or.kr/ .

Korea Tourism Organization. 2020 Untact society and changes in tourism behavior after the COVID-19 using big data Retrieved form https://datalab.visitkorea.or.kr .

Kwahk, K.Y. 2019. Structural equation modeling using R: Analysis procedure and method. Knowledge Management Research. 20(1):1-26. https://doi.org/10.15813/kmr.2019.20.1.001
crossref
Lee, C.L., Y.J. Yi. 2012. Development and application of the public-service customer satisfaction index (PCSI) Model. Journal of Korean Marketing Association. 27:69-99.

Lee, J.H., R.H. Yoo, J.W. Lee. 2016. Analysis on Visitors of Healing Forest for Improvement of Forest Healing Program. The Journal of Korean institute of Forest Recreation. 20(4):73-80. https://doi.org/10.34272/forest.2016.20.4.007
crossref
Lee, S.H. 2021. The effect of perceived safety of the travel bubble on image and trust of tourist destination, and safe tourism behavior intention in with-corona Era. Journal of Tourism and Leisure Research. 33(4):99-118.
crossref
Lee, Y.K., N.S. Yoon. 2004. The effect of perceived relationship marketing strategy on customer loyalty in internet shopping Malls: The contingency perspective. Korean Journal of Business Administration. 17(5):2007-2028.

Meleddu, M., R. Paci, M. Pulina. 2015. Repeated behaviour and destination loyalty. Tourism Management. 50:159-171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2015.01.032
crossref
Oh, T.B., J.I. Lee, I.H. Choi. 2018. Improvement Plan of Forest Trail Management through Consciousness Analysis of Forest Trail User. Landscape and geography. 28(3):115-130. https://doi.org/10.35149/jakpg.2018.28.3.009
crossref
Oliver, R.L. 1999. Whence consumer loyalty? Journal of marketing. 63:33-44. https://doi.org/10.2307/1252099
crossref
Park, J.C., Y.B. Yoon, G.I. Lee. 2014. The effects of the service quality influence to hedonic value and customer loyalty based on healing tourism structural elements. International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research. 28(11):49-66.

Park, M.S., I.H. Kim, K.Y. Huh. 2021. Assessment of attribute satisfactions and revisit intention of visitors for revitalizing rural tourism in Namhae county, South Korea. Journal of Agriculture and Life Science. 55(5):53-65. https://doi.org/10.14397/jals.2021.55.5.53
crossref
Park, S.Y., B.S. Kim, S.S. Park. 2015. A study on the satisfaction of youth in the meditation program-In the case of the sangsang meditation program of Bongin-sa temple-. The Journal of the Korean Association for Buddhist Studies. 75:357-391.

Sim, K.W., J.H. Lee. 2010. A study on service quality of local festival influencing visitor’s satisfaction and loyalty: A case of Daegu Yangyeongsi herb medicine festival. The Journal of Korean institute of Forest Recreation. 14(1):31-39. https://doi.org/10.34272/forest.2010.14.1.004
crossref
Van Dyk, A., A. Tkaczynski, E. Slabbert. 2019. Repeat tourism, destination image and behavioural intentions: implications for sustainable development in South Africa. Tourism Recreation Research. 44(3):392-398. https://doi.org/10.1080/02508281.2019.1637610
crossref
Xu, F., X. Lin, S. Li, W. Niu. 2018. Is southern Xinjiang really unsafe? Sustainability. 10(12):4639. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124639
crossref
Yoo, L.H., Y.S. Jang, J.H. Lee. 2020. Comparison of visitor characteristics in recreational forests and arboretums. Journal of Korean Society of Forest Science. 109(4):532-543. https://doi.org/10.14578/jkfs.2020.109.4.532
crossref
Yun, I.H. 2021. The effect of service quality of social welfare facilities on facility reuse: Focusing of multi-parallel triple mediation effect of facility image, user loyalty, and facility satisfaction. Journal of Digital Convergence. 19(5):127-133.

TOOLS
Share :
Facebook Twitter Linked In Google+ Line it
METRICS Graph View
  • 0 Crossref
  •    
  • 552 View
  • 12 Download
Related articles in J. People Plants Environ.

Qualitative Content Analysis of Forest Healing Experience in Forest Life2021 June;24(3)



ABOUT
BROWSE ARTICLES
EDITORIAL POLICY
AUTHOR INFORMATION
Editorial Office
100, Nongsaengmyeong-ro, Iseo-myeon, Wanju_Gun, Jeollabuk-do 55365, Republic of Korea
Tel: +82-63-238-6951    E-mail: jppe@ppe.or.kr                

Copyright © 2024 by The Society of People, Plants, and Environment.

Developed in M2PI

Close layer
prev next