Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Environment and Society

Committee Chair(s)

Steven W. Burr


Steven W. Burr


Richard E. Toth


Paul M. Jakus


Heritage tourism is a fast growing sector in the recreation arena. Research into multiple aspects of heritage tourism has increased during the last few decades as it has been recognized as a distinct form of tourism and promoted around the globe. This study was conducted in an effort to better understand multiple aspects of heritage tourism in the Bear River Heritage Area of northern Utah and southeastern Idaho. The following aims to provide Bear River Heritage Area leadership with baseline data on their visitors and build upon the base of literature in the areas of recreation specialization, and importance-performance analysis. Attempts to apply the recreation specialization continuum in the context of heritage tourism were relatively unsuccessful in this case. Potential problems with applying recreation specialization to heritage tourism are discussed and implications for future studies are explored. In addition, emerging trends in importance-performance research are applied to respondent ratings of attribute importance and satisfaction in order to provide the best possible suggestions for Bear River Heritage Area management improvements and build upon existing research. Specifically, traditional importance-performance analysis is compared to analyses that incorporate grand means, segmentation, and confidence intervals.