Thumbnail

Dr. Morgan has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach a class at Vietnam National University and to conduct a visitor study at Cuc Phuong National Park during the fall semester, 2010.

He plans to teach a graduate class in research methodology. The primary class assignment will be to conduct a visitor survey at Cuc Phuong National Park using students to collect/ analyze the data and write-up the report. The park staff needs this information for management purposes.

Cuc Phuong is the oldest national park in Vietnam. Established in 1962, it is located 120 km southwest of Hanoi. There are about 60,000 people living inside or nearby the park, mostly from the Muong tribe. Many visitors spend a night at the cultural village to learn more about this ethnic minority. The park is famous for its natural resources, including some of the world’s rarest species, such as the Delacour’s langur (Trachypithecus delacouri). The karst topography has produced a very scenic landscape, thus attracting visitors from around the globe.

Although Cuc Phuong is an outstanding resource, government funding is inadequate to sustain park management efforts. This revenue shortfall has resulted in a mixture of public and private sector involvement in the park. Many programs and services are supported by user fees, but there is no formal mechanism to provide any feedback on service quality (i.e., visitor satisfaction). Although such information is needed, there are no funds currently available to conduct social science research. Visitor studies are useful for decision-making and policy formation, especially when managers need to justify budget requests. The primary outcome of this study will focus on visitor perspectives of indigenous tourism.

Students will be required to make at least one trip to the park for data collection purposes. Back in the classroom, students will enter and analyze empirical data using a statistical software package, write the report (in Vietnamese and English), and make an oral presentation of their findings to park managers. This proposal will satisfy two important objectives: 1) involving students in an active learning approach; and 2) providing park managers with a document to formulate park policy. The project will be completed by January, 2011.