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Hennig, S. (2008): The recreation perspective. A recreationalists typology on visitors and their behaviour by the example of Berchtesgaden National Park

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Hennig, S. (2008): The recreation perspective. A recreationalists typology on visitors and their behaviour by the example of Berchtesgaden National Park
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  183 The recreation perspective. Arecreationalists typology on visitorsand their behaviour by the exampleof Berchtesgaden National Park Sabine Hennig Abstract — To perform its tasks management needs information on visitors. They provide insight into the recrea-tional situation of protected areas and support management decisions. Therefor, data on visitor use and visitationbehaviour have to be analyzed and mapped. However, information on visitors should not be reduced on singular variables. It is important to combine these different characteristics and build up types of visitors respectively visitor behaviour. In favour of this the approach of recreation perspective is elaborated. The concept takes account of existing typologies on (nature-based) tourism and their attributes (e.g. size, age). Furthermore, visitor behaviour is integrated. Distinguished in macro and micro behaviour it is expressed by choice of activity, destination, type,location and duration of extended stops etc.. Considering these aspects visitors can be categorized into severaltypes. The recreation perspective is worked out and applied to the German Berchtesgaden National Park. Index Terms — visitor characteristics, recreational behaviour, typologies, management, statistical analysis  ——————————   u   ——————————  1b ackground T oday rising visitor numbers as wellas changing visitor demands posechallenges for visitor management inprotected areas. Due to these changes themanagement is confronted with the complextask to handle recreational and ecologicalrequirements in a sustainable way. Knowl-edge and understanding on visitors, their behaviour, and visitation processes providedecision support to the management. How-ever, instead of just characterizing visitors bysingle attributes, it can be even more helpfulto classify visitors and visitations by combin-ing attributes.Here, typologies are a useful tool. They reect existing situations more realistic by considering visitors and their visitationsas a whole. In order to elaborate typolo-gies for recreation and recreationalistsit frequently occurs in the style of touristcharacterizations. Today several touristtypologies exist. They base on variableslike social-demographic factors, motiva-tions and purposes behind visitation etc..The attributes used in tourist typologiescan be seen as important factors to de-scribe visitors, but they neither integratednor explain behaviour of visitors. In order to understand and classify visitors the in-tegration of behaviour can be consideredimportant (see O`Connor, Zerger & Itami2003; Romeiß-Stracke 1986). The ap-proach of recreation perspective takes thisinto account. The concept is elaboratedand applied to Berchtesgaden NationalPark focusing on nature-based recreation-al activities on foot. ———————————————— S. Hennig is with the Department of Geography, Fried-rich- Alexander University of Erlangen- Nürnberg,visting researcher at Austrian Academy of Sciences/ GIScience Salzburg, E-mail: Sabine.Hennig@assoc.oewaw.ac.at.  s. H ennig : t He   recreation   perspectiVe . a recreationalists   typology   on   Visitors    and   tHeir   BeHaViour   By   tHe   exaMple   of B ercHtesgaden n  ational p  arK 184 2s tudy  area  Berchtesgaden National Park is situated inthe southeastern German part of the Alpsbordering Austria. The extent of the parkarea comprises 21,000 hectares. Its altituderanges from 600 m AMSL at Lake Königsseeto 2,700 m AMSL at the summit of the Watz-mann massif. The large protected area is ac-cepted by IUCN as management category II.Consequently main management objectivesare environmental education and recreation.The region of Berchtesgaden is one of theoldest holiday destinations in the Alps (Job etal. 2003). Each year circa 1.3 Million visitorscome to Berchtesgaden National Park. Dur-ing summer (high season) main recreationalactivities like walking, hiking, and mountainclimbing take place in the alpine environment.In the park 236 kilometers of trails, numerousalpine huts, alps, and other facilities and ser-vices like national park information centersare available. Natural and landscape attrac-tions are viewpoints, waterfalls, lakes, alpinemeadows, wildlife viewings etc. (BayStMLU2002). 3t he  concept  of  recreatIon  perspectIve The recreation perspective is described asthe perspective of recreationalists on their individual visitation. This approach includes“personal” attributes used also in tourist typol-ogies. Further on, behavioural characteristicsare integrated. Before and during the visita-tion the recreation perspective is manifestedin visitor decisions. They result in certainbehaviour of visitors. It can be distinguishedin macro and micro behaviour (Jubenville,Twight & Becker 1987). Here, purpose andmotivation behind the respective visitation isimportant and responsible to explain behav- iour. Both are variable and specic for each visitation - even of the same person. Oneperson can visit a recreation or protectedarea at different days for different reasons. Inconsequence varying behaviour for each visi-tation results (Hammitt & Cole 1998; Juben-ville, Twight & Becker 1987). Accordingly, therecreation perspective focuses on visitationsand not just visitors. Depending on the recre-ational situation of a protected or recreationalarea the concept consists of different types of recreation perspective. 3.1 Recreation motivation and activity Depending on the motivation behind visita-tions recreationalists   select an appropriateactivity. A person looking for physical chal-lenge will select another activity than a per-son searching relaxation and tranquility.Generally, recreation activities differ in mo-bile and stationary ones. Mobile activities aree.g. walking, biking, skiing. Stationary activi- ties can be classied into three groups: activi -ties according to resting (including e.g. play-ing and observing), getting information andorientation. Normally, stationary activities oc-cur in combination with mobile ones. Exam-ples are resting on a hiking tour or using infor-mation opportunities on walks (see Ammer &Pröbstl 1991; Hoisl, Nohl & Engelhardt 2000).However, the performance of hiking, walkingor climbing can be different. This depends onthe cultural, social, and natural environment.Naturally, hiking in north-American wildernessis characterized in another way than hiking inCentral European cultural landscape. Table 1refers to characteristics of walking and hikingin Central Europe. 3.2 Macro behaviour  Macro behaviour sums up frame decisionsmade in the run-up to visitations. It is char-acterized by purpose and motivation behinda visitation. Both lead to decisions concern-ing activity and destination, starting time, andduration of stay. The aspects are associatedwith each other. By selecting a summit desti-nation the recreationalist will exercise climb-ing and not walking. While climbing requiresto start early in the morning, walking occursindependent from daytime.Nature-based recreation is mainly carriedout by groups (family, friends etc.) and not bysingle persons. Due to its size and structure  MMV4 proceedings - p erceptions    and   preferences 185 a group selects activity and destination. Onesingle group member can be responsible for determining visitation constraints. It depends on his or her specic demands or physical abilities. For example, kids or seniors fre- quently have inuence on choice of activity and destination. Comprehensible, a familyexcursion with kids will be designed in a totallydifferent way than a trip of a sportive ramblingclub. Concerning seniors, it is imperative, thattravel speed slows down remarkable for per-sons being older than 55 years. Accordingly,group structure should be considered to un-derstand recreational behaviour. 3.3 Micro behaviour   Aspects of micro behaviour comprise thecomportment during a visitation. It corre-sponds to mobile and stationary activities. In order to dene micro behaviour the followingfactors are considered signicant: • performed types of extended stops, • frequency of extended stops, • duration of extended stops and • speed of travel. Micro behaviour reects and depends on motivation behind a visitation. It is ex-pressed through the chosen activity anddestination: The stop behaviour during along and exhausting hike and during a lei-surely walk will be different. Especially, onwalks observing nature and getting infor-mation are main aspects for a stop.Furthermore, micro behaviour dependson existence and appearance of recrea-tional infrastructure within an area. For ex-ample, conditions of path variables showeffect on visitor behaviour. Walking speeddepends not only on the physical abilities of visitors but also on material, condition andsteepness of trails. 4M ethods In order to identify types of recreation per-spective data on recreational behaviour wascollected in Berchtesgaden National Park. Asshown in Table 2 several methods of visitor monitoring were used.Information on visitor behaviour wasgained, in particular by time-lapse videos. Itincludes data collection on macro and microbehaviour. According to macro behaviour recreationalists were counted at entrancesdepending on starting time of the visitation. TABLE 2 dATA   coLLEcTion   mEThods   on   visiTors   And   visiTATions   in   BErchTEsgAdEn   nATionAL   pArk Method Data Type Interviews withvisitorsGroup size, Age/ group structureMotivation & activity formTrip durationTrip destinationUsage of infrastructural elements(frequency and duration of use)Interviews withexpertsUsage and duration of usage of infrastructural elementsTime-lapse videoUsage and duration of usage of infrastructural elementsLiteratureresearchCharacteristics for mobile activitiesUsage and duration of usage of infrastructural elements TABLE 1s ELEcTEd c hArAcTErisTics   of   rEcrEATionAL   AcTiviTiEs : wALking   And   hiking   in c EnTrAL  E uropE Activity Walking Hiking Duration1 – 2 hoursPrimarily half-dayTarget group  Every one, without previous knowledge or special skills Path length2 – 5 km> 5 km, up to 50 kmTravel speedLeisurelySpeedy andperseveringlyExtendedstopsManyFewInfra-structureBenches, seatingsSignages,destinationslike stops forrefreshment/ mealsTrialsComfortable,plane, hardsurfaceWith sloop, naturalstate, challengingMainmotivation“To go for a blow”Nature experience,corporal challenge(Ammler & Pröbstl 1991; LUBW 1994; Nohl 2001)  s. H ennig : t He   recreation   perspectiVe . a recreationalists   typology   on   Visitors    and   tHeir   BeHaViour   By   tHe   exaMple   of B ercHtesgaden n  ational p  arK 186 Concerning micro behaviour stationary ac- tivities occurring at specic sites equipped with infrastructural elements (national parkinformation tables, picnic areas, and naturalattractions etc.) were investigated. Number of groups, their size, and duration using theinfrastructure was measured. This data anddata collected by visitor interviews were ana-lyzed statistically using SPSS 12.In order to build up types of recreation per-spective the mean activities on foot in Ber-chtesgaden National Park were deployed.They were used to classify data on macroand micro behaviour. Furthermore, the deter-mined types were expanded by informationon visitor behaviour provided by literature. 5s Ingular  crIterIons  on  recreatIon  perspectIve  Before the types of recreation perspective are examined in detail below, rst an outline of selected aspects on visitor behaviour col-lected on-site will be provided. 5.1 Group size and structure In Berchtesgaden National Park the major-ity of visitors (56%) come in groups of two,13% in groups of three, 15% in groups of four persons, whereas 7% search recreation justby themselves. Taking into account the agethree groups can be distinguished: • family groups with kids (31%), • adult groups with members between 18and 55 years (40%) and • senior groups having one member older than 55 years (29%). 5.2 Characteristics on extended stops Based on classications of stationary ac -tivities, extended stops vary in three types:resting, getting information, and orienta-tion.In context of getting information and orien-tation about 30 to 40% of the visitors makeuse of the according infrastructural elements. Use on specic infrastructural elements ac -counts for 10% of the visitors. However, visi-tors spend little time on these kinds of sta-tionary activities. They use these elementsfor the duration of about two minutes in aver-age. Infrastructure for resting in form of e.g.benches with tables is used by about 12% of the passing visitors. On average 10 minuteswere spent at such offers. Sites with possi-bility for refreshment and meals (alpine huts,restaurants) play an important role for 52% of the recreationalists. 6t  ypes  of  recreatIon  perspectIve  Concerning activities on foot ve types of recreation perspective can be distin-guished: Walking, hiking as family or senior group, hiking as group of adults, mountainclimbing, hiking on several days duration. They are dened based on the three main activity forms, their destination types and du-ration of stay as well as group structure. Fur-ther on, they are combined with the before dened types of extended stops character  -ized by stop frequency and duration. Here,data collected on-site is completed with dataprovided in literature (e.g. comportment onextended stops: Brämer 1998, O`Connor,Zerger & Itami 2003; walk speed: Roth etal. 2003). The example of hiking of severaldays duration shows the recreational per-spective and the resulting visitor behaviour (see Table 3). 7d IscussIon , conclusIon  and  outlook In Berchtesgaden National Park the recrea-tion perspective is applied in several ways. Applying the approach measures taken by the management can be more specic. Planning of facilities and services can be better adapt-ed to visitor demands. The knowledge gainedis used for the design and choice of positionof information shelters and natural trails, andthe conception of information boards at alpinehuts. Furthermore, the recreational types canbe used in computer simulation models. By  MMV4 proceedings - p erceptions    and   preferences 187 them information needed to map recrea-tion demand and visitor use pattern is madeavailable by them (e.g. trip distribution, model split). The recreation perspective can nd its expression in an agent-oriented computer-simulation approach.  At the moment denition and characteriza -tion of the different types of recreation per-spective base partly on expert knowledge.For the description of micro behaviour in con-trast to macro behaviour only little data ex-ists (Jubenville, Twight & Becker 1987; Roth,Krämer & Schäfer 2003). One reason is thatdata collection on micro behaviour is morecomplicated than on macro behaviour. Fur-ther research on adequate methods is need-ed to improve and extend this typology. Here,the application of GPS and handy trackingconcerning micro behaviour would be an in-teresting aspect to include. r eferences [1] U. Ammer and U. Pröbstl, “Freizeit und Natur.Probleme und Lösungsmöglichkeiten einer ökol-ogisch verträglichen Freizeitnutzung“, Hamburgand Berlin. 1991[2] BayStMLU Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Landesentwicklung und Umweltfragen (BayStM-LU), ”Nationalpark Berchtesgaden. Nationalpark-plan,“ München, 2001 [3] R. Brämer, “Prolstudie Wandern. Gewohnheiten und Vorlieben von Wandertouristen”, Studien ausWissenschaft und Praxis, Nr. 62, Marburg, 1998[4] W.E. Hammitt and D.N. Cole, “Wildland Recreation.Ecology and Management”, New York, 1998[5] R. Hoisl, W. Nohl and P. Engelhardt, ”Naturbezo-gene Erholung und Landschaftsbild. Handbuch,“Darmstadt, 2000[6] H. Job; D. Metzler and L. Vogt, ”Inwertsetzungalpiner Schutzgebiete. Eine regionalwirtschaftli-che Analyse des Tourismus im Alpenpark Ber-chtesgaden“, Münchner Studien zur Sozial- undWirtschaftsgeographie Band 43, 2003[7] A. Jubenville; B.W. Twight and R.H. Becker, “Out-door Recreation Management. Theory and Appli-cation Revised and Enlarged”, Philadelphia, 1987[8] LUBW Landesanstalt für Umweltschutz Baden-Württemberg, “Umweltverträgliche Sport- undFreizeitanlagen/-aktivitäten. Orientierungsrahmenfür Planungen und Beurteilungen. Untersuchun-gen zur Landschaftsplanung“, Band 27, 1994[9] W. Nohl, ”Landschaftsplanung. Ästhetische undrekreative Aspekte“, Berlin and Hannover, 2001[10] O`Connor, A. Zerger and B. Itami, “Building bet-ter agents: Geo-temporal tracking and analysis of tourist behavior. Conference Proceedings MOD-SIM International Congress on Modeling and Si-mulation. Townsville, Australia: 1148-1154, 2003[11] R. Roth; A. Krämer and A. Schäfer, ”Wander-Handbuch. Ein Leitfaden für Kommunen, Sport-organisationen und touristische Leistungsträger“,Feldberg, 2003[12] F. Romeiß-Stracke, ”Freizeitnachfrage-Naturbedür-fnis-Siedlungsstruktur“, Schriftenreihe des Bunde-sministeriums für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft undForsten, Heft 332, 1986 S. Hennig Dipl. Geogr., Dr. Current Research interest:conceptualizations and modeling of nature-based rec-reation concerning its management and monitoring. TABLE 3 rEcrEATion   pErspEcTivE   And   sELEcTEd   chArc - TErisTs   in   BErchTEsgAdEn   nATionAL   pArk   By   ThE   ExAmpLE   of   sEvErAL - dAy   hiking AttributValueMotivation/ puposeNature experience, corporalchallengeAge ∅ 38 yearsGroup size ∅ 3,44 personsGroup structure/ age16% family groups60% adult groups25% senior groupsStart time ∅ At alpine huts7:00 – 9:00 a.m.Duration ∅ 3 daysTravel destinationAlpine huts, summitsExtended stops typesSituations for resting (byinfrastructure includingnature attractions)Extended stops duration ∅ 20 minutes
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