Visitor management in recreation areas

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The ever-increasing demands for outdoor recreation have caused widespread ecological damages in many parts of the world, so that methods to contain deleterious impacts and maintain the quality of recreational experience must be earnestly sought. Besides the commonlyprescribed preventive and ameliorative actions on the resource-base, visitor management which can provide cost-effective and long-term solutions deserves more attention than hitherto. This paper evaluates a spectrum of relevant options including the subtle (influencing userbehaviour), through the intermediate (redistributing use), to the regulatory (rationing use). 

The reduction of per caput impact can, naturally, raise the capacity of an area to accommodate continuing use. Minimum impact techniques can substantially curtail the largely inadvertent damage due to ignorance rather than malice, while recreational planning and management can take into account the changing user preference. Appropriate data to guide management decisions can be acquired through innovative non-contact approaches, including visitor observation, to solicit candid and spontaneous responses. Good-quality information, conveyed through different channels in ample time before a visit, can effectively modify user behaviour and perception. Formal and informal education, to inculcate a responsible attitude towards the natural environment, can bring long-range benefits. Citizen participation can furnish diversified and useroriented perspectives that are important for successful programmes. Copyright © 1989 Foundation for Environmental Conservation. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-32
JournalEnvironmental Conservation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1989


Jim, C. Y. (1989). Visitor management in recreation areas. Environmental Conservation, 16(1), 19-32. doi: 10.1017/S037689290000847X


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