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Geocaching in Texas state parks: a technology readiness analysis

Birendra KC (Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA and Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, South Africa)
Xi Y. Leung (Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 9 August 2021

Issue publication date: 4 March 2022




The purpose of this study is to apply the triangle model of technology and the technology readiness index (TRI) in a qualitative study design to explore the geocaching phenomenon in state parks.


A framework was developed to examine the triangular relationships between the park, geocaching and visitors. A total of 12 semi-structured interviews were conducted with Texas state park officials. A thematic analysis was used to analyze the interview data.


Three types of interactions (i.e. park-visitor, visitor-technology and park-technology) were identified. Although geocaching leads to positive recreational experiences for park visitors, the study also revealed the decreasing popularity of geocaching along with park officials’ apprehension regarding the placement of caches. The findings suggest that Texas state parks fall within the “Avoiders” stage in terms of technology readiness because of a low level of optimism and innovation and a high level of discomfort and insecurity toward geocaching technology.


The study contributes to the extant literature by adding new knowledge regarding geocaching in the context of state parks. This study is one of the first to apply the triangle model of technology to examine the trilateral relationships between parks, geocaching and visitors. The study also innovatively adopts the TRI in a qualitative study to identify the technology readiness stage of state parks.





本研究为探索公园, 地理藏宝以及访客的三角结构关系提出了理论框架。研究对德克萨斯州立公园行政人员进行了12项半结构化访谈。主题分析发进行了访谈数据分析。


研究发现了三种形式的互动:公园访客, 访客科技装备, 和公园的科技装备。尽管地理藏宝活动提高了公园访客的体验, 本研究通过公园人员的视角也发现访客的热情有所降低。研究结果发现德州州立公园在科技准备度意义来说仍处于“回避”阶段, 基于较低的积极度和创新意识, 以及对地理藏宝活动表现较高的不适以及不安。


本研究为已有的文献增添了有关州立公园地理藏宝的新发现。本研究是首次运用科技三角模型来研究公园, 地理藏宝和访客之间的三边关系。本论文也创新性的在定性研究中运用了TRI对州立公园科技准备度进行研究。



We would like to thank Adity, Araceli, Fangyu, Genesea, Irene, Karuna, Malori and Matt for their help with the data collection. We would also like to thank anonymous reviewers and the guest editors for their valuable feedback.


KC, B. and Leung, X.Y. (2022), "Geocaching in Texas state parks: a technology readiness analysis", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 182-194.



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