Identification and prediction of latent classes of hikers based on specialization and place attachment

Hwasung Song, Alan R. Graefe, Kyungmin Kim, Chanyul Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to extend previous research by combining the specialization and place attachment concepts. Applying a latent profile analysis (LPA) to data from hikers on the Olle Trail of Jeju Island in South Korea (N = 428), we classified hikers who share similar profiles based on multiple dimensions of specialization and place attachment, and examined correlates of the derived typologies for drawing managerial implications. We also explored associations between these typologies and outcome variables of hikers. LPA identified three subgroups: "novice" (38%), "affection-driven" (40%), and "expert" (22%). The findings indicated that these groups differed in their past experience and socio-demographic characteristics, such that the "affection-driven" and "expert" groups have more experience in the setting than the "novice" group. These typologies also showed significant associations with hikers' satisfaction and revisit intention; thus, "novice" hikers tended to be less satisfied with their hiking and the setting. Furthermore, the "novice" group reported lower intention to revisit the setting. Our findings reveal that LPA can be a useful tool for identifying subgroups of individuals who have engaged in particular sets of strategies by incorporating multiple activity-place dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1163
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 13 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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