Mental mapping and heritage visitors' perceptions

Lee, Maria Younghee; Hitchcock, Michael and Lei, Joyce Wengsi. 2017. Mental mapping and heritage visitors' perceptions. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 13(4), pp. 305-319. ISSN 1743-873X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Visitors’ activities tend to be spatially oriented in destinations. Mental mapping is a useful method for revealing how visitors spatially perceive tourism destinations. However, studies of this kind are under-researched in the tourism field. Therefore, this study investigates the ways in which visitors spatially perceive the World Heritage Sites (WHSs) of Macau through the use of mental maps drawn by a sample of 400 respondents. Comparisons of the mental maps revealed that respondents possessed a relatively limited spatial knowledge of the WHSs, and this recognition varied according to the gender, place of origin, travel mode, type of trip, social interaction with local people and length of stay. While the real-life world of visitors was identified by the mental mapping approach, some suggestions for formulating strategies are provided.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Mental map, perception, spatial distortion, direction, location, World Heritage Sites of Macau

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)


12 July 2017Published Online
25 June 2017Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

17 Dec 2018 15:07

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:02

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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