Experiencing nature: The recognition of the symbolic environment within research and management of visitor flows

R. van Marwijk, B.H.M. Elands, J. Lengkeek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Insight in and understanding of visitor use, including temporal and spatial distributions, is necess­ary for sustainable recreational use and effective park management. A visitor uses the physical environment of e.g. a National Park, however, his behaviour is not only a result of the objective or measurable physical environmental characteristics, but is also based on the meanings and values he ascribes to the environment. This symbolic environment can be understood by considering four values: use value, perception value, narrative value and appropriation value. Data were collected by means of questionnaires and GPS, and statistical analyses were performed according to environmental values, demographic visitor characteristics and spatial behaviour. This research reveals complex relationships between these variables, and suggests also the importance of research into visitor experiences, because demographics alone do not give complete insight into visitor perception and spatial behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-76
JournalForest Snow and Landscape Research
Volume81
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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