Recreational specialization among visitors to Gros Morne National Park

Spellacy, Lisa (1995) Recreational specialization among visitors to Gros Morne National Park. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study uses the concept of specialization to examine visitors' activities in Gros Marne National Park Reserve, specifically those using the backcountry. An index of activity specialization was created employing generic indicators in an attempt to differentiate among backcountry visitors and between backcountry and frontcountry visitors. Visitor characteristics are described. Preferences for environmental attributes and levels of support for park management strategies by different visitor sub-groups are discussed. -- Questionnaires were distributed to visitors who registered for overnight stays in the backcountry during the summer of 1990 and to visitors who stayed at the 'frontcountry' Green Point campground during the months of July and August, 1990. -- Backcountry visitors are socio-demographically different from Green Point visitors, but are not different in terms of overall activity specialization scores. Differences in hiking specialization and camping specialization were noted between visitors who chose to recreate in different settings within the park. Visitors to untrailed backcountry were more highly specialized hikers than visitors to trailed backcountry, who were more highly specialized hikers than visitors to the frontcountry campgrounds. The reverse pattern was the case for camping specialization. Generally visitors who participated in activities other than hiking or camping had higher specialization scores. -- The specialization index used in this thesis is not a practical tool for park managers. More useful information about park users was obtained from examining visitor comments and by classing visitors into groups based on the park area in which they stayed overnight. Visitors to the untrailed backcountry were found to have similar environmental preferences to visitors to the trailed backcountry with the exception of a stronger preference for physical challenge. Visitors to the trailed backcountry were found to have similar levels of support for management options which include facilities to visitors to the frontcountry. -- Management strategies favored by all visitor groups include the provision of more and better information and interpretation via staff, maps and brochures.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11459
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [131]-138.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: 1995
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: National parks and reserves--Public use--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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