Visitor Management Pan Parks Wice gen University | Sustainability | Strategic Management

WICE - Wageningen University

Visitor Management PAN Parks

1. Introduction
National parks in Europe have to deal increasingly more with higher numbers of visitation. Globalisation and an increase of travel and tourism worldwide leads undisputedly also to higher visitation of natural areas. Due to this increase the pressure on the environment raises and visitor impacts result. Managing visitor experiences and behaviour become more important to protect the various resources that allocate visitors. This thesis focuses on visitor management planning as part of WWF’s PAN Parks project. The PAN Parks project is initiated by the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF). This chapter gives background information of WWF’s vision for tourism and sustainability. It explains the goal of the PAN Parks project and the role of the WWF. A case study is executed in Mercantour National Park in France. Background information about the study setting is included as well as the objectives of this study. Research methods to realise the objective are described in chapter 2.

1.1 Visitor management
When a visitor visits a heritage site it causes some sort of impacts upon that area. These impacts can be biophysical or social (Giongo, Bosco Nizeye & Wallace, 1993). The degree of this impact varies and in some ways it decreases the quality of the destination and therefore also the experience of the visitor. Visitor management is the practice of ensuring that the visitor achieves a quality experience in an environmentally sustainable manner. McArthur (1993) defines it at follows: The management of visitors to a heritage site in a manner that maximises the quality of the visitor experience and minimises the impact of visitation on the heritage resource. The definitions defined for visitor management include in general three different elements:

1. To protect and enhance the resource 2. To assist visitors in enjoying their visit 3. To maintain and improve the economic benefits which tourism can bring
Visitor management is a process that tries to realise visitor satisfaction about different types of experiences as well as maintaining the quality of the environment. It matches the characteristics of the visitors with the possibilities of the environment. Visitor management goes beyond nature protection as it also includes local and regional economic, cultural and social elements. Visitor management plans from different parks include besides subjects for minimising impacts and realising visitor satisfaction, subjects that deal with interpretation, information and education, visitor safety transport, access and infrastructure, profiling. Programmes for monitoring and evaluation, training need assessment, economic opportunities and co-operation are other important elements. The subject and importance of visitor management will be explained in detail in Chapter 3 and 4.

1.2 WWF and tourism
The WorldWide Fund for Nature (WWF) is the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organisation. Since 1985, they have invested over US$ 1,165 million in more than 11,000 projects in 130 countries. The organisation's work of trying to achieve conservation of nature and ecological processes can be classified into 3 interdependent categories (WWW.panda.org): 1 Preservation of genetic species and ecosystem diversity, 2 Promoting the concept of sustainable use of resources to ensure its sustainability both now and in the future, and 3 Reducing wasteful consumption and pollution.

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WICE - Wageningen University

Visitor Management PAN Parks

Tourism has been noted as one of the largest and fastest growing industries and has significant environmental, cultural, social and economic impacts. WWF aims on optimisation of the positive impacts whilst minimising, and wherever possible, eliminating the negative impacts. According to the WWF's position statement (1999) the vision for tourism and its associated infrastructure is that it should: • Be compatible with effective conservation and operate within the area's natural capacity, for the regeneration and future productivity of natural resources • Minimise the ecological footprint of tourism • Give proper consideration to local cultures and local people in host areas, and ensure that these people have an equitable share in the economic benefits of tourism. Tourism can have destructive impacts on biodiversity and unspoilt environments. It can damage natural resources as water, forests, coral reefs, and air. Water shortage, water pollution, air and visual pollution and damage to vegetation and wildlife are some examples of negative environmental impacts that can occur. In order to avoid negative impacts, tourism should be planned in a way that it becomes sustainable. WWF can use its experience and expertise in among others conservation, education, sustainable development and advocacy to work with other stakeholders, to achieve sustainable tourism.
Table 1.1: WWF’s Belief about Sustainable Tourism

WWF’s belief about sustainable tourism:
• • • • • • • Tourism must be planned, managed and undertaken in a way that avoids damage to biodiversity, and is environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially equitable. The tourism industry must recognise and embrace its responsibility for conservation and sound natural resource management by working within principles and guidelines to achieve environmentally sustainable development. Action must be undertaken to reduce and, where possible, eliminate negative impacts on natural resources and processes. Tourism should actively contribute to maintaining and restoring biodiversity. Local communities have the right to maintain and control their cultural heritage. Education, awareness, and capacity building are key to achieving sustainable tourism. The active participation of other players should be encouraged to help address significant issues which are outside WWF's areas of expertise, but which are strongly related to tourism; for instance, the promotion of human rights.

WWF will use project appraisal to ensure that tourism projects will be environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. One of the tourism -related projects, initiated by WWF and the Dutch Leisure Company Molecaten Group is the PAN Parks project. WWF is responsible for the coordination of the overall strategy, implementation and control. The Molecaten Group is more a financial partner.

1.3 PAN Parks
In 1997 WWF and the Molecaten Group came up with the PAN Parks idea: A synergy between Nature Conservation and Tourism in Europe’s Protected Areas. In this way economic value can be given to natural areas. Tourism is the means by which this will be realised. Tourism can thus be seen as the core of the Pan Parks project. Sustainable tourism development in and around the Parks can meet the growing demand for nature oriented tourism. Nature tourism, the type of tourism in the PAN Parks, is tourism to natural areas with the purpose to see and experience nature. Sustainable tourism development can also provide the parks and the regions with new opportunities to create a sound sustainable future, based on the conservation of the park. This combination creates a wider public and political support for the conservation of protected areas (internal document PAN Parks).

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WICE - Wageningen University

Visitor Management PAN Parks

Aim of the PAN Parks project is to change tourism from a threat (attracting visitors could lead to negative impacts on nature) into an opportunity by building relationships with nature conservation organisations, travel agencies, the business community and other groups on local, national and international level. PAN Parks, which stands for Protected Area Network, aims to provide a nature conservation based response to the growing market of nature-oriented tourism by creating a quality brand (Internal PAN Parks document 1999). Where the quality brand stands for is described in table 1.2.
Table 1.2: The PAN Park quality brand

PAN Park quality brand stands for:
• • • • • An expanding network of well-managed protected areas with high conservation value; Areas which are widely known by Europeans as natural capitals of our continent, which they know and are proud of; ‘Must see’ sites for tourists and wildlife lovers. They stand for responsible high quality naturebased experiences for visitors; Wider public and potential support for the protected areas through changing attitudes and growing economic value of protected areas; New income for parks and, in particular, new jobs for people in rural areas.

The PAN Parks concept is a reliable ‘trademark’ for tourism, recreation and nature. The Parks have to undergo certification by an independent certifying organisation under recognised standards. To guarantee constant quality, the certificate awarded to a park will be periodically reviewed. This review, or verification, will be done based on the principles, criteria, and indicators. Beunders (1999) states in the tourism strategy that the principles criteria and indicators define what the project stands for and also define the roles, rights and obligations of the partners involved. The principles have been concretised in criteria and indicators, which guarantee an effective protection of nature and a high quality nature based experience for visitors and a sustainable development of protected areas and their surroundings (PAN Parks internal document). • Principles reflect the vision and goals of the Pan Parks project. They can be seen as a set of intents, as a concept that makes the vision concrete and tangible. They form the guidelines for the project and all partners are committed to them. • Criteria are formulated in order to make the principles workable and suited for monitoring the process. They are a sort of code of conduct. They are formulated in such a way that all partners know what to do and what should not be done. • Indicators are the most concrete: they are quantified in such a way that the performance of all partners can be assessed and measured. They form together with the project’s tourism strategy clear guidelines for the development strategy and its implementation at park level. Originally six principles were developed to guarantee the quality of nature, the visitor experience and the sustainable development of the park and its region (table 1.3). The principles and criteria are regularly updated, for the latest version see www.panparks.com.
Table 1.3: Principles PAN Parks

Overview of principles PAN Parks
Principle 1: Principle 2: Principle 3: Principle 4: Protected areas with rich natural heritage Nature Management Visitor Management Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy

Principle 5: Business Partners Principle 6: Sponsors

This thesis deals with the third principle; visitor management. The principles, criteria and indicators that are used as basis for this thesis are the principles, criteria and indicators of the fourth draft. This version is included in appendix A. The principles, criteria and indicators of the third draft have been revised based on comments that were given by all partners, organisations and other people involved.

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hare variable. and the wild boar. 1. and the buffer zone. No parasailing 11. which is the actual park. The mission of the park is to participate in its economic. The avifauna counts many different species of which some are reintroduced like the Bearded Gypaete (Carte d’identité 1999). no disturbance.parc-mercantour.500 ha. bivouac only from 19. There are two different zones. roe deer. In the core zone of the park 600km of well-maintained and indicated trails can be found.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks The third of the six principles on which PAN Parks are based is about visitor management: ‘Visitors are welcomed to PAN Parks and are offered good information. deer. No canyonning Source: Canestrier 1996 4 . 2. which is the surrounding environment in which many visitor facilities are situated. No guns and munitions 10. The different types of soil allow an enormous variety of flowers to grow. The core zone of the park is 68. No cars outside authorised areas 6. creates its uniqueness.00 at 1 hour walk from entrance 4. No dogs allowed No picking and taking of any natural material No camping. no graffiti 8. At places of high frequentation interpretative panels can be found. No mountain bikes 9.WICE . No fire 5. The location of the park. Also multiple smaller animals can be encountered: the marmot. high mountains with glaciers bordering the Mediterranean. The park counts more than 2000 different plant species (4000 in total in France). No noise. They both have for example the same code of conduct: Table 1. No garbage and water pollution 7. ibex (reintroduced). mouflon. Figure 1:Map of the study setting Mercantour National Park Source: www. In the valleys and at points of high frequentation information points provide services to visitors. services and facilities and the opportunity to experience the natural features of the area while respecting the nature conservation objectives’. In the buffer zone there are no regulations from the park. and many others. The surface area of the buffer zone is 136. This area can be defined as a confer zone.500 ha and includes 28 communities. the core zone.4 Mercantour National Park Mercantour National Park was established in 1979.00 to 09.4: Code of conduct Code of conduct 1. social and cultural development. stoat/ermine. Six large ungulates live in the park: the chamois.fr The park is joined with the Italian Park that is situated on the other side of the border. Parc Regional de l'Argentera. 3. In this area the regulation of the park is applied.

fortified villages. And secondly. This valley possesses the richest ensemble of open-air engravings in Europe. ‘villages perchés’ (villages at altitude).2: The different parties of interest for this study University PAN Parks Mercantour National Park The objective of this study is to integrate the interests of the different parties. 36. this study represents a thesis document which contains scientific elements Figure 1. forts (ruins). To explain the subject and importance of visitor management 2. To explain the PAN Park's philosophy about the different visitor management subjects supported or completed with literature and case study examples 3. • Other sites of cultural interest are. unique plant and animal species can be found. Apart from the climate. To assess the situation in Mercantour about the indicated subjects and their 'score' on the PAN Parks criteria and indicators. • Because the park is situated close to the Mediterranean coast. One of the points of attention is the third principle.000 engravings from the Bronze Age (-1800BC) can be found. 1. a unique variety of animals and plant species in one national park is combined because of the altitude difference: 490M-3143 • A second issue in the villages around the park is the return of the wolf. The interests of three different parties are combined in this study: • The PAN Parks organisation who offered to give assistance for the subject of visitor management. Many people are against the existence of this animal. 4. castles (ruins). In this valley at an altitude of more than 2000m.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Some other unique features of the park: • One of the valleys of the Mercantour National Park is the 'Vallee des Merveilles'. 5 .WICE . How this objective will be realised is explained in the following chapter. the Visitor Management Plan. to create an explanatory case study about visitor management that can be used by all other parks willing to become a PAN Park • Mercantour National Park who needed assistance for the self assessment of criteria and development of the visitor management plan • The author. with the aim to speed up the certification process. Mercantour National Park does not yet meet all the criteria. To review literature in order to give well founded recommendations to management of Mercantour National Park for future visitor management developments The general research objective: Develop a report explaining the visitor management process and its application and that provides a theoretical background on which park managers can evaluate the visitor management activities in their park'. a park has to meet the Principles and Criteria as stated by the PAN Parks Organisation. This can be formulated as follows: 1. They requested advice from the PAN Parks Organisation for the development of such a plan.5 Study objective In order to become a PAN Park.

What is visitor management and why is it important? 2. The sub-questions are: 1. Research methods This chapter describes the way in which the stated objectives (Chapter 1) will be realised. Second a clear description of the different research elements is given together with a conceptual model that shows the relationships between these elements.1) shows the relationship between the research elements.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 2. The third section is about the limitations and opportunities of this research. This model is explained as well. What existing (applied) strategies deal with the identified visitor management elements? 5. These are explained in table 2.1: Conceptual framework Research element Visitor management Definition Explain what visitor management is and why it is important Information gathering techniques used Secondary data analysis: • Literature analysis • PAN Parks criteria and indicators Secondary data analysis: • PAN Parks criteria and indicators • Literature study Case study examples Literature analysis Secondary data collection: • Literature study • Case study examples • PAN Parks criteria Literature study Visitor management philosophy The approach/attitude towards visitor management that is of influence on the way decisions are taken (line of thinking) Structure of a visitor the logical order of a visitor management management plan plan Visitor management subjects The subjects for which goals and objectives have to be set? Visitor management strategies Mercantour National Park case study Structures that help to realise the goals and objectives of the visitor management subjects National Park in France where the PAN Parks criteria and indicators are tested. What are the current management activities on the different elements of visitor management in Mercantour National Park. The conceptual model (figure 2.1 and the way in which they are analysed is given as well. 2. How can the literature be used to advise the management 2. What visitor management elements can be distinguished from literature and case studies? 3. Informal interviews Literature review Personal observation Integration of literature and case Use of results literature analysis to advise study (Recommendations) Mercantour National Park for further development of their visitor management activities 6 .1 Research questions: The research question formulated to realise the objectives stated in the previous chapter is the following: 'How to interpret the PAN Parks criteria and indicators for visitor management in order to advise park managers how to optimise visitor management activities in National Parks in Europe'. do they meet the PAN Parks criteria and indicators? 6. The PAN Parks principles and criteria are explained by and supported with literature and case study examples. Which of those elements are included in the PAN Parks Principles and Criteria? 4. First research questions are formulated. Table 2.2 Conceptualisation Different research elements are deducted from these research questions.WICE .

Visitor management strategies including frequently used systems such as LAC (Limits of Acceptable Change). McArthur. 1987. Recommendations A literature study/content analysis on subjects related to visitor management resulted in a theoretical background for the PAN Parks visitor management principles. supported and complemented in the literature (Cole. 1993. More specifically with risk management which should be one element of visitor management as is appointed in the analysis of 7 . Giongo et al. Ceballos-Lascurain. 1996.1: Conceptual map 1. satisfaction of users and on improvements that have been made. Black. namely The Tioram Castle Conservation Project Scottish Highland. CC (Carrying Capacity). 1998. Visitor management frameworks available online. Together with the literature background this creates an overview of the desired situation (number 3 in figure). VERP (Visitor Experience and Resource Protection Programme). The visitor management philosophy supported by literature (Borrie et al. the Norfolk Coast AONB UK and the Waitakere City Council Visitor Strategy for the West Coast UK. 2. • Philosophy • Framework • Subjects 4. McCool. Visitor management subjects. ROS (Recreation Opportunity Spectrum). For each of these subjects goals and objectives have to be formulated in the visitor management plan.. 4. The PAN Parks' criteria and indicators are the evaluation tool and the literature serves explanatory. 1996). explained.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks The conceptual map (figure2. supporting and completing purposes. 1998. 1993. 3. VIM (Visitor Impact Management). The VRM system is not included in the comparison because it deals with different visitor management subjects. 1998. Hall & McArthur. PAN Parks criteria visitor management 3. Wight. Apart from the VRM strategy all systems are compared on the basis of their applicability. In the analysis of the fourth element (number 4 in figure) the different strategies have been compared. Four forms of literature were examined: 1. Literature analysis visitor management philosophy&subjects 2. The Nut State Reserve Tasmania. 1998. Literature review visitor management strategies 5.WICE . The PAN Parks principle about visitor management comprises criteria and indicators for 8 of these subjects. Advised Visitor Man. Schouten.. Case study Mercantour National Park 6. VAMP (Visitor Activity Management Programme) TOMM (Tourism Optimisation Management Model) and VRM (Visitor Risk Management) Based on the analysis of the first three elements (number 1 in figure) ten visitor management subjects were identified. 1999).1) graphically depicts the steps involved in the research process Figure 2.

For recommendations the results from the literature review were used (number 6 in figure). This means that information was not easily accessible. The literature is used to support the PAN Parks criteria. The PAN Parks criteria have been rearranged based on the conclusions that could be drawn from the literature analysis in step 1. The literature research also informed about different visitor management strategies that have been developed and applied in national Parks worldwide (VERP. 4. After this analysis only the systems that have integrated both the nature oriented and the visitor oriented approach were evaluated against the PAN Parks criteria. For an overall evaluation it would have been best if accommodation could be arranged in Nice for some time longer. A second limitation was the difficult communication with management in Nice. 5. 8 . The conclusions that are drawn are a combination of the PAN Parks criteria and indicators. A case study has been done in Mercantour National Park to assess the management activities and to advise the management about their visitor management strategy. My documents were in English and only few people in the whole organisation could comment on it for this reason. and to add new perspectives on visitor management subjects.4 Limitations There were some external limitations worth noting: First limitation was the time period available.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks element 1-3.WICE . This resulted in an overview of existing strategies that can be advised to future PAN Parks as they meet the criteria and indicators. This resulted in an overview that forms the basis of the visitor management plan. This was based on secondary data analysis. 6. VAMP. The conclusions that were drawn after the analysis of the case study in Mercantour National Park resulted in recommendations. 2. The literature on visitor management proved to cover a broader scope of subjects than the criteria. the literature and the case study. to explain subjects. After the evaluation (based on PAN Parks criteria) literature based recommendations can be done to advise the management of the park. Therefore some documents had to be translated which took a lot of time.3 Research design The following steps have been taken to execute the in section 2. structures and strategies. 2. The case study (number 5 in figure) that has been worked out in Mercantour National Park in France was an evaluation of the visitor management philosophy and the visitor management subjects. A third limitation was the location. 2. These strategies are tested on the PAN parks criteria and Indicators.2 described process. Most information is kept in Nice. informal interviews and observations. The Pan parks criteria and indicators were the assessment tools. Analysis of the PAN Parks criteria and Indicators. For financial reasons this was not possible and thus is this research limited to just one of the sectors of the National Park. The results of this analysis were positive and this means that these systems can be recommended by the PAN Parks organisation to be used for managing the visitor management subjects they deal with. ROS). The combination of literature and PAN Parks criteria resulted in a comparison. The result of this conclusion was an overview of the points where Mercantour needed further development and where they meet the PAN Parks principles and criteria. Literature review has led to a thorough understanding of visitor management subjects. These advises could not be put in practice. The Criteria are reorganised based on 10 visitor management subjects and on the philosophy towards the decisions making process. 1. 3.

2: Overview of limitations and opportunities Limitations • • • • • Time Communication Location No problem statement Co-operation Opportunities • • • PAN Parks financial support Accommodation in La Vesubie Co-operation of management in La Vesubie 9 . They have their concerns about the benefits for their situation. I expected to encounter a problem situation that I could solve with my knowledge about visitor management.WICE . Table 2. This was not the case and finally the case study resulted in an overall analysis of the situation to find the weak points in the visitor management process like it is executed at the moment. On a positive note was the financial support given by the PAN Parks organisation who financed a substantial part of the costs involved in the research. A last remark about constraints is about co-operation. For this reason there was perhaps less interest by management in Nice for this research. Also the hospitality of the sector La Vesubie where accommodation was arranged and where the chief of the sector was willing provide me insight in the organisation of the park have to be mentioned. Management in Nice is not yet really convinced of the PAN Parks project.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Before going to the National Park.

5. and visitor oriented Structure and strategy 3. • Time consuming • Desired education Integration possibilities with other strategies Process oriented structure • Analysing and documenting. What is understood by these terms and how these terms have to be interpreted will be explained in this section. Identification of problem conditions • Goals and objectives setting • Strategic plan • Financial resources • Monitoring and evaluation of management actions Differentiated approach. re-active approach. economic. Managerial principles McCool (1996) proposes eleven principles emerging from research on visitor impacts and from growing public interest to be involved in decision-making (table 3. Visitor Management Visitor management as a process is described in Chapter 1.1 Visitor management approach The visitor management approach includes three different elements.1. Criteria Recognise the considerations of visitor use (eleven principles McCool 1996) Ease of implementation. Decisions taken should be in line with the Park’s administrative or managerial philosophy about visitor management in order to obtain the desired results. for example. 4. Each term can be concretised in different criteria of which some are included in the criteria and indicators. 2.1 is a visualization of this process. Table 3. Figure 3. Cause solving Local involvement integrated in process Beyond nature orientation: Social. In the second subsection the importance of a visitor-oriented approach is highlighted.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 3. 8. 9. Instead of prohibiting access to a certain area. emphasis should be put on the possibilities and opportunities of the park and not on the restrictions. It looks beyond limiting use. Future oriented Cause solving vs. visitors could. 3. In the first section the approach towards visitor management will be described and in the second section the visitor management framework will be analysed. the do’s and don’t-s. 10 . • Different zones • Different target groups Pro-active approach vs.1: Overview of elements of visitor management philosophy Category Managerial No.WICE . 3. These principles give a realistic view on how to best deal with problems that are encountered in other parks in the world. structure and strategy elements and sustainable elements. 7. environmental.2). Sustainable approach 6. be encouraged to visit other areas. Visitor management is placed in a context. 1. cultural. These are managerial elements. problem solving.1 Visitor management philosophy This section exists of two different subsections. First the approach towards visitor management will be explained.

National Park Service. This is applied by for example visitor management strategies such as VIM. Parks Canada) The products of PAN Parks are the natural features of the area and the visitor experience it provides. VERP and VAMP (see chapter 5). Principles of sustainability The visitor management approach that is communicated by the PAN Parks organisation is a sustainable one. monitoring) and McCool principles also encourage community development. The principles support the strategic way of thinking suggested by the PAN Parks organisation (goals and objectives. Appropriate Management depends upon objectives Diversity in resource and social conditions in inevitable and may be desirable Management is directed at influencing human induced change Impacts on resource and social conditions are inevitable consequences of human use Impacts may be temporally or spatially discontinuous Many variables influence the use/impact relationship Many management problems are not use dependent Limiting use is only one of many management options Monitoring is essential to professional management The decision making process should separate technical decisions from value judgements Consensus among affected groups about proposed actions is needed for successful implementation of protected area management strategies Source: McCool 1996 Structure and strategy principles Visitor management should have a process oriented structure. community and cultures in order to meet the needs of both visitors and host regions. Graefe 1992. 11. The WTO (1992) agreed upon a definition for the term sustainable tourism at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro.1). The visitor experience is partially intangible. different ‘dreams’ about their visit to the park. This means that different facilities and services must be provided to satisfy different market segments. economic and aesthetic needs. 4. goals and objectives for short and long term.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks The principles accept (to a certain extent) changes in the environment due to visitor use. Another characteristic according the same definition of sustainability is that it operates in harmony with the local environment. 11 . on the short and on the long term. According to this definition a sustainable approach means that management actions do not consider only the maintenance of ecological processes. Different groups of tourists have different expectations. 3. This systematic approach must be found in all strategies for all visitor management subjects (McCool 1996. This means that it should include analytical parts. This means visitor oriented developments that are more likely to lead to visitor satisfaction but requires knowing what happens outside the park boundaries. a strategic plan and a monitoring and evaluation program. This should change into managing visitors: creating facilities and services to realise satisfaction of different groups and at the same time conserve nature (see figure 3. 10. Different areas in a park have different recreational opportunities. Table 3.WICE . 9.2: Eleven principles of visitor management Eleven visitor management principles 1. aspects of atmosphere and hospitality are important. 5. Visitor demand should be taken into account by the development of facilities and services. Management actions should be directed towards controlling types of use and the associated impacts. biological diversity and life support systems as elements of importance. 8. 6. social. but also cultural integrity. Insight in visitor behaviour and trends needs to be gained. 7. 2. Visitor management makes it possible to realise the different visitor expectations (dreams) which will lead to a high quality experience in the eyes of the visitor (Mazursky in Beunders & Boers 1996). Historically the management of parks is often directed at dealing with visitors: minimising impacts and providing information. The creation of different zones offers the possibility for a range of recreational activities in a surrounding that is best suitable for these activities.

perception.3. This indicates a pro-active attitude instead of a reactive attitude. they promote the destination by word of mouth and they are the public support for natural areas.2 Visitor management: A visitor oriented approach The main characteristic of the approach towards visitor management is probably the visitor-oriented approach.7 Describe existing and planned partnerships with communities and other partners on the use.1: Differences in Visitor Management Dealing with visitors Park Management Managing visitors Park Management Vi. Visitors spend money in the park and its surroundings and all this leads to nature conservation and protection.M.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Analysing recreational trends outside the park boundaries leads to information about changes on which can be anticipated.2. Sustainability I 3. improvement and widening the offer of nature oriented expediencies I 3. 12 .WICE .4. This subsection describes why it is important.1 List and specify activities for different target groups. Recreation The Pan Parks Principles and criteria are not prescriptive at this point. In this way problems and opportunities can be detected in an early stage. Analysing visitor behaviour is just as important for the conservation of the site as it is for the satisfaction of the visitor.1. and to the economic well being of the local residents. needs and style of participation.2 Provide information of the plans long and short term goals I 3. Vi.2 Based on ecological CC describe the measures to avoid negative impacts by visitors on the area.M .3. Figure 3. I 3. A short reference to the elements related to the visitor management approach is given in table 3. Implementation.3: PAN Parks criteria and indicators about a visitor management philosophy Visitor management approach Structure and strategy: Cr.1. Jubenville and Twight (1993) recognise the planning design and implementation of visitor management programmes like safety. regular monitoring and assessing its effectiveness should be secured’. interpretation and regulation of use is not possible without a clear understanding of the visitor’s motives.4 Are the effects of the visitor management plan’s actions being monitored systematically? Can the plan be revised accordingly? I 3.3. Satisfied visitors are likely to return to the site.8 Does the protected area management play an active role in setting up and implementing sustainable tourism strategy I 3. Add description and map of zoning system (or similar system). I 3.1 List groups that need to understand and support conservation goals of the protected area Source: PAN Parks criteria fourth draft 3.1 ‘Protected area must have a visitor management plan.1. Recreation / tourism can be used as a tool for nature conservation.3. 3. Table 3.

Besides. The park can not provide the facilities and services that are required by all visitors to the park. An appropriate executed visitor-oriented management strategy has benefits for the visitors.4: Importance visitor oriented approach in visitor management Importance of visitor management in a visitor oriented approach • • • • • • Tourism developments take place in the desired direction (realizing goals and objectives) Higher visitor satisfaction with indirect benefits (return visits. insight in visitor behaviour is important. Information about the visitor is necessary to obtain the knowledge on how to satisfy visitors. The facilities. 1993). attracting visitors to natural areas can affect the environment in a negative way. In order to avoid this and to make sure that developments are directed towards the desired situation. services and infrastructure can be adapted and implemented in such a way that the visitor has an ultimate experience (see Mazursky in Beunders&Boers 1996). Table 3. Appropriate on-site behaviour can be encouraged in an effective way when you know how to approach the market. Different people have different demands. the nature in the park and the management (Marion & Farrell. Visitors must be aware of what they can expect. then they know the range of experiences available and can decide if the park offers the by them desired experience. The visitor characteristics are analysed so that management strategies and tactics can be applied in an effective manner and the park and the local community profit maximal from the opportunities tourism offers. sensitivity) and goals and objectives. Nature conservation is of main importance to the tourism/recreation projects because without high quality nature.WICE . In the same way the park can try to attract the type and number of visitors that fits best with the park’s natural features (attraction points. expenditures. “Walk on path ways only” is better. 1993) The importance of visitor management with a visitor-oriented approach is summarized in this overview. economic benefits park and local population) Nature conservation Better control of visitor behaviour Effective application of visitor management strategies and techniques Attracting desired type of visitors Justification investments • 13 . public support. Regulations will be more effective when the message is explained for example: ‘“Don’t walk on the grass” is clear but can be offensive. Taking the visitor-oriented approach as a starting point will lead to higher visitor satisfaction and gains better control of the visitor’s behaviour. 1992). Tourists will then not come /-back. having analysed the visitor’s demands provides a sound basis on which investments can be justified (Hall & McArthur. promotion. nobody can experience a ‘High Quality Nature Based Experience’. Children for example will be more inclined to behave properly after a conversation with a ranger than after they have read a code of conduct.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks But recreation can also be seen as a threat. A visitor-oriented approach aims therefore at visitor satisfaction for different market segments. But “Please walk on the pathways so as not to disturb the delicate wildflowers” is best of all’ (WTO/UNEP.

1 The ‘old’ visitor management plan The Visitor Management Plan on which changes and differences are described is the Framework written as an under-graduate thesis for the Pan Parks organisation in 2000 (Donk 2000 based on Hall & McArthur 1993). The carrying capacity of the area and limits of acceptable change offer the possibility to implement demand in a sustainable way. Figure 3. The second paragraph describes changes that have been made to improve the existing situation.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 3. The first two aspects (Park and Market analysis) provide the input for management. It deals also with a question that goes beyond the park boundaries.2 graphically depicts the relation between the different aspects of the Visitor Management Plan: Figure 3. The strategic plan: 14 . Market analysis The market analysis deals with the current situation.2. Based on this information the strategical part of the visitor management plan is carried out (three ABC). How should a visitor management plan work? The first paragraph described the previous system.2: The relationship between the different elements of the Visitor Management Plan Park Analysis Market Analysis Goals and objective setting Strategic Plan Monitoring and Evaluation 1. B. 2. Park analysis The Park analysis provides the essential pre conditions in which the tourism developments take place. 3. see figure 1. what are the tourism trends. The Park analysis gives also information about the facilities that are available for the different target groups.2 Visitor Management Plan Structures: This section describes the different structures for visitor management. what type of tourists can we expect and how can we satisfy them? 3.WICE . What type of tourists do we attract. how do they behave and how are they satisfied. The different phases of the visitor management plan are briefly described. The goals and objective setting: In this part the information that is obtained in the Park and Market Analysis are structured in such a way that well founded conclusions can be made for goals and objective setting. and the seasonality an estimation of the type of tourist can be created. By analysing the location of the area. the attractiveness of the natural (cultural) features. Visitor Management Strategy The visitor Management Strategy exists of three parts: A.

as they are set in part A. The ‘new’ structure is a more differentiated one and makes use of multiple strategies that have all a structure that at least includes the steps that are described in the ‘old’ 15 . An overview of the core aspect of each item (the numbers refer to the chapter numbering of the Vi. M.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks The strategic Plan of a visitor management plan provides a framework on how to realise the goals and objectives. Figure 3.3 graphically depicts the relationship between the visitor management elements. It describes the attitude. In the existing structure is visitor management seen as an integrated system in which all relevant subjects are combined in one general strategy. This is described in the previous section. Figure 3.3: Structure visitor management plan Interpretation Monitoring and evaluation Impact management Visitor experiences Visitor management approach Training programmes Monitoring Partnerships The new scheme starts with the visitor management approach. the line of thinking for visitor management. It is like a framework of essential pre-conditions.2. When decisions are taken they should be in line with the park’s philosophy towards development. The biggest difference between the ‘new’ and the ‘existing’ scheme is the strategic part. 3 A: B: C: What are the possibilities and limitations of the park? What do the tourists want? What is the management philosophy? How will the park achieve what it wants? Do they realise what they want and how can the management be improved? 3.WICE . It also includes information about the main goals and objectives of the PAN Parks organisation.2 The ‘new visitor management plan This section describes the changes that have been made to improve the existing situation. that new services and facilities should be nature based and visitor oriented. C. plan): Visitor management process 1. 2. Monitoring and evaluation: In this part the importance of monitoring and evaluation is highlighted and different techniques are described. Examples of preconditions are that developments should be sustainable.

Therefore an evaluation of the different strategies must be included. it has appeared most effective and efficient to combine the three elements of ‘Impact management. The other option is that the plan has been approved by the management and may be executed. As has become clear from the literature analysis on different strategies. For example the goals of the recreation provider might be in conflict with the strategies the conservation manager has set. This creates a coherent strategy for these three elements in which most effective and efficient can be worked. The Tioram Conservation Project for example has a Visitor Management plan that is specified on the issues of public access and interpretation. In most cases a monitoring and evaluation phase is part of the strategies. the management team can reject the proposed plan. This monitoring and evaluation step (step 6) evaluates the broader goals and objectives and the process of Visitor management. Identifying goals and objectives for each of the visitor management subjects means that specific attention is paid to these elements. New points of attention can be identified and priorities can be put elsewhere. There are two possibilities after this phase. Table 3.3 Overview of the advantages of the new visitor management structure Overview of the advantages of the new visitor management structure More goal oriented Use of different strategies more effective management More independence More conveniently arranged effective and efficient analytical part Identification of the most important visitor management issues for the park which leads to effective visitor management Better meeting the PAN Parks Principles and Criteria 16 . and ‘Recreation/Opportunity provision’ in one strategy. These two issues have been identified as the most appropriate means of undertaking the conservation of Tioram. In this way the analytical part (Park analysis and Market analysis) are adapted to each other. In this case the plan has to be revised. Not all subjects require the same type of strategy. In case some of the strategies are not feasible financially or are conflicting.5. They do not get ‘lost’ in the management plan. A very important element is the monitoring and evaluation phase. For example monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of managing the visitor impacts.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks structure.WICE . The concept of monitoring is further explained in chapter 4. but have to be considered. This means more independence and more goal-oriented management and monitoring programmes. It is important to evaluate the different goals and objectives and the way in which they will be realised to assure that there is no discrepancy/ or no contrasting or conflicting strategies set. The eleven different subjects that are identified as important elements for visitor management all have their own strategy. ‘Interpretation’.

Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 4. 7. 6.1 Identifying visitor management subjects Visitor Management subjects are points of attention for the management of the park. 17 .Information 2. 4. 8. Eight of them are included in some way in the PAN Parks criteria and indicators for the principle of visitor management. First the subjects are identified and the relation between the different subjects is explained. 9.WICE . These are identified issues that need attention and continuous improvement. Partnerships and co-operation Monitoring and evaluation Training programs Financial management Profile Infrastructure: Access. Table 4.1. Each analysis summarises the requirements that are based on the literature and on the Pan Parks criteria. These conclusions are useful when analysing visitor management practices. transport and traffic subjects PAN Parks Principle visitor management Additional to Pan Parks Principle. Visitor management subjects This chapter describes the different visitor management subjects. Based on the analysis of these subjects. 10. Second is for each subject an interpretation of the subject given and for those elements that are included in the PAN Parks criteria the requirements related to that subject are given. Minimising impacts 3. Visitor experiences/recreation opportunities. objectives for Visitor Management can be formulated and strategies can be set. Interpretation. The relationships are visualised in figure 4. The other two subjects (10-11) have appeared to be elements that are included in management plans from the Waitakere City 'visitor strategy' for the West Coast of New Zealand and the Norfolk Coast AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) in the UK. Goal of the PAN Parks criteria is among others to improve the existing situation to an optimal management level. facilities-services-activities 4.1: Visitor management subjects Visitor Management Elements 1. This means that not all principles and criteria have to be met from the beginning but that there is a process/a strategy to improve the existing situation. In table 4. the relation between the different elements will be explained. Education. Case study subjects Before going into more detail in each subject.1 the visitor management subjects are identified. Visitor safety 5. and on the Tioram Conservation Project in the UK.

Goals and objectives that are set for these subjects can only be realised or executed in co-operation with the other elements. This is an ongoing process. Monitoring and evaluation is an essential element for all the visitor management subjects. These identify visitor management programmes that Jubenville and Twight (1993) also come up with. so has monitoring. These results will be monitored again and in this way changes will be indicated. The following sections will deal with the visitor management subjects in the following order: 4.2: Visitor management core subjects included in PAN Parks criteria and indicators 4. support existing operators and monitoring and evaluation are ‘supporting’ subjects. training programs.Wageningen University Figure 4. This approach leads also to more effective and efficient monitoring programmes as monitoring programmes could be integrated for the different subjects.3: Visitor management supporting subjects included in PAN Parks criteria and indicators 4.WICE . for example a training program to ameliorate interpretation programmes. Only when the situation is well analysed can justified decisions be taken. Training programmes are developed for the ‘core’ subjects. Training programmes could be developed to improve the monitoring process. For example: all processes have a financial part.4: Visitor management additional subjects (not in PAN Parks criteria) 18 . After the evaluation process. Monitoring therefor covers all the other elements. The financial expenditures need an overall monitoring process like all the other subjects. or to better adapt visitor use to the environment. The two-sided flash towards the supporting subjects indicates that the supporting subjects also support the monitoring process.1: The relationship between the different visitor management subjects Visitor Management PAN Parks Monitoring Supporting subjects • • • Training programme Partnerships New Economic opportunities Support existing operators • ‘core’ subjects • Interpretation • Minimising impacts • Visitor experiences/recreation opportunities • Visitor safety • Profile • Infrastructure-traffic transport Evaluation Partnerships. management actions can be adapted. partnerships could be established to execute monitoring programmes and existing operators could be included in the monitoring process.

and its time. Interpretation is a co-ordinated creative and inspiring form of learning. profile.2: Visitor management core subjects included in PAN Parks criteria and indicators The visitor management core subjects are interpretation. its relation with other communication departments. a sign or a brochure. Thus. • a means to obtain visitor management goals and objectives (influence visitor behaviour and visitor satisfaction). If properly delivered. and the visitor management plan of the Norfolk coast has a chapter dedicated to information and interpretation (Norfolk coast AONB). visitor recreation/experience opportunities.63) gives some examples of what interpretation is and what it should provoke. sustainable. interpretation and information are seen as key tools used by managers to better manage visitors. interpretation plays an important role in sustainable tourism/recreation. facilities-services-activities’ the third element. 4. it provides the foundation for remembering and reliving it’. minimising impacts. In the PAN Parks principles and criteria interpretation is an important element because interpretation is: • a way to express the desired visitor management approach (Quality of experience and environment. Black (1999) concluded that the values and attitudes of visitors are changing. It is not a slide show or a role-play. It provides a means of discovering the many complexities of the world and the visitor’s role within it. Because of its importance for the visitor experience as well as for nature conservation. largest or rarest. Education. It goes beyond telling people the name of a plant species. It has been said that not having an interpretation program in a park is like inviting a visitor to your house and then disappearing (Ceballos Lascurain p. interpretation not only enriches an ecotourism experience. pro-active). visitor safety. They now demand more environmentally responsive services and products as well as information.2. interpretation is identified as a different element for visitor management. Good interpretation is still thought about at breakfast the next morning. their assumptions challenged and their interest in learning stimulated. importance and difficulties. visitor oriented. but it is mentioned separately for different reasons. personnel budget consuming character. Interpretation goes beyond focussing on the oldest. These are techniques by which interpretation can be delivered. These will all be explained in the following subsections. Interpretation services differ from information provision in that it is not a listing of facts but tries to reveal concepts. ‘Interpretation is not a visitor centre.WICE . It might seem that it belongs to the element of ‘Visitor experiences/recreation opportunities. The goal of this section is to explain its goals.39). traffic/transport. Analysis Creating effective interpretation is an extensive task but many courses and books are available to guide this process. 19 .Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 4.1: Interpretation: education and information Introduction Interpretation is identified as a special element of visitor management. It leaves people moved. McArthur (1998 p. Visitors want to learn about the environment they visit and also want to understand the connections with a broader environment. meanings and the interrelationships of natural phenomena. infrastructure. nature based. The Tioram Castle Conservation Project has developed a visitor management project for public access and interpretation (Lorimer & associates 1999). It educates the visitor about his environment and ensures the visitor to have a nature experience (Hall McArthur 1996).

4. Unimaginative and generic communication techniques. Poor information about the market. They give some reasons why interpretation has not reached its full potential: • • • • • A lack of understanding of what interpretation is and can be. I. interpretation and communication in the visitor centre available in English and. 3.5.4 ‘Visitor management creates understanding and support for the conservation goals of the protected area’. 3. Cr.4 Are information. for which clear goals and a policy are being defined within the visitor management plan’.3: Short reference to the PAN Parks criteria and indicators about this subject: Interpretation.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Hall and McArthur (1998) give the following number of objectives that can be achieved through interpretation. These are identified by a select few ecotourism operators and protected area managers. 3.5 ‘The protected area has a visitor centre. and Limited training opportunities that reflect operator needs Table 4. 3.5. information and education: I.2 Specify messages and different techniques used for the target groups.4. I.3.4. I.1 ‘List visitor centres target groups that need to understand and support conservation goals of the area’. 3. A lack of feedback and evaluation culture. 3. 3. I. I.2: Objectives of interpretation programmes Objectives that can be achieved by using interpretation • • • • • • • Enriching the visitor’s experience and increase client satisfaction Assist the visitor in developing a keener awareness.1 ‘List target groups that need to understand and support conservation goals of the area’. in case that monitoring of visitor flows shows many visitors from other countries come to the area. I.3 ‘Do you have a code of conduct? Indicate how it is communicated’. 3.5.3 Is the availability and accessibility of information guaranteed during all periods of the year that visitors can be expected? Indicate opening dates and hours of visitor centre and other places where information is available and specify which information is available. Table 4.WICE . 3. education. other relevant languages? Source: PAN Parks criteria fourth draft 20 .2 ‘List and specify services (such as education and interpretation programmes) for different target groups’. I. appreciation and understanding of the area being visited Encourage thoughtful visitor behaviour to ensure the experience is a sustainable one Differentiate their tourism product from more mainstream products Attract higher yield clientele Contribute to an ethical position held by the operation Increase guide satisfaction Promoting public understanding of protected area managers • Hall and McArthur (1998) argue that interpretation is not always successful and that it not as easy as it seems. 3. Cr.2 ‘Specify messages and different techniques used for the target groups’.5.

2.4: Overview of possible negative visitor impacts Bio Physical Impacts Soil erosion Types of impact Gully erosion Muddy stretches Undesired trails Vegetation cover Species composition Species condition Stressful conditions Habituation and taming Transmission of diseases Poaching/over harvesting Modification of habitat use Indirectly: altering the habitat Plant production Suspended material Examples Bare soil Bare rock Exposure of tree roots Campsite enlargement Trampling (reduces tree seedling) Driving nails Removing limbs Peeling of barks Feeding of animals Noise Impacts on vegetation Impacts on wildlife Impacts on water quality Wading Bathing Peeing Social Impacts Impacts on local residents Impacts on the visitor experience Quality of life Desire for solitude/crowding Visitor conflicts Visitor behaviour Litter/vandalism 21 . and culture. p. ‘The term damage refers to a change (an objective impact) and a value judgement that the impact exceeds some standard. also without visitor use. He uses the term 'eco-tourism' but this can be read as 'visitors to the park area': "Eco. economic region and on the experience of the visitors themselves. It is important that these two find a balance. as it is difficult to measure and judge cultural change for example as cultures are constantly changing. It can provide foreign exchange and economic reward for the preservation of natural systems and wildlife. Number one priority is most often nature conservation and second or third is creating a high quality visitor experience.78) makes the distinction between impacts and damage. But eco-tourism also threatens to destroy the resources on which it depends.tourism is big business. it is difficult to decide how much impact is acceptable. wildlife. Table 4. Borrie have categorised impacts in different categories. Economic benefits spread throughout the community. P. The Norfolk coast recognises that visitors to the area can have positive effects on the whole area. Soil erosion in high mountain areas is incomparable to that in wetlands for example. However.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 4. cultural. it is the Multiplier effect. This is a change in the environment but whether this is damage depends on management objectives. Giongo. In terms of human impact a certain number of hikers may lead to a certain amount of soil compaction. This list is an overview of negative impact that can be caused on the biophysical environment and on the social environment. expert judgements and broader public values’. But they also recognise negative effects on the park and its communities." The resources are the nature as well as the culture and its communities. Table 4. Wight (1998. ‘Impacts on the resource and on social conditions are inevitable consequences of human use’ is the fourth visitor management principle identified by McCool (1989). Berle (1990) has expressed this concern very clearly. Bosco-Nizeye. Analysis If visitor use is not managed properly impacts can lead to permanent destruction of habitats. This section is about negative impacts that can be caused by visitors on the natural.WICE .2 Minimising impacts Introduction Minimising impacts might be the most important element of visitor management for managers of National Parks/nature areas. Each region has different types of impacts.4 is a summery of their analysis.

5: Evaluation of different visitor management techniques Visitor management techniques Ability to address heritage management paradox Conservation Improve of heritage quality of visitor experience ooo o oo oo oo oo oo oo oo ooo ooo ooo ooo oo o oo o oo oo ooo oo ooo ooo oo Other aspects of performance Create support for heritage management Proactiveness Reliance by management 1. Table 4. 8. National Parks in mainly America and Canada have executed for many years extensive research on how to balance recreation and conservation in national parks. Alternative providers tourism industry ooo ooo 15. Cole (1987). Interpretation 12. It is not a guideline on how to apply it effectively. A range of strategies and techniques for managing resource impacts or visitor crowding is available to be applied in problem cases. 5. 6. In order to recommend which of the strategies would be most effective in certain cases these systems are evaluated in chapter 5. Regulating access Regulating visitation Regulating behaviour Regulating equipment Entry of user fees Modifying the site Market research Visitor monitoring and research Promotional marketing ° ° ° ° ° °° ° ° °°° °°° °°° °° °°° °° °°° °°° ° ° ° °° °° ° °°° °°° °°° °° °°° °°° °° °°° °°° °°° ° °° ° °° °°° °°° ° ° ° °° °° ° ° ° °° ° 10.WICE . they could be required to have certain skills or equipment. interpretation alternative providers volunteers and favoured treatment for accredited bodies bringing visitors to a site are strategies that maximise the conservation of the site and do not lower the visitor experience. 4. Profile of heritage management oo ooo 14. From the table can be concluded that strategic information marketing. For example: people could be encouraged to visit other areas. 9. Other means than limiting/prohibiting use are thus preferred. Alternative providers volunteers ooo ooo 16. Hall and McArthur (1998) have evaluated categories of alternative visitor management techniques. selective information provision could channel people to lower impact areas or the resistance of the site could be increased. to behave properly. 7.5).Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks The visitor management approach towards negative impacts desired by the PAN Parks organisation puts emphasis on possibilities instead of on limitations (see paragraph 3. Education ooo oo 13. Strategic information marketing 11. 3. and does not include many obligations.1). Favoured treatment for accredited bodies bringing visitors to a site Performance in relation to heritage management paradox: o Limited oo Reasonable ooo Good Source: Hall and McArthur (1998) Performance in relation to other criteria: ° Limited °° Reasonable °°° Good The PAN Parks principles and criteria about this subject are very general. Hall & McArthur (1998) also support this attitude with their research results (table 4. 2. 22 .

WICE - Wageningen University Table 4.6: The PAN Parks principles and criteria about this subject:

Visitor Management PAN Parks

Impact management:
Cr. 3.2 ‘Visitor Management safeguards the natural values of the protected area’ I. 3.2.1 ‘The protected area’s ecological carrying capacity is properly assessed/estimated, making use of the best available method’. I. 3.2.2 ‘Based on ecological carrying capacity, describe the measures to avoid negative impacts by visitors on the protected area. Add description and map of zoning system (or similar system), specifying visitor access, allowed activities and time period of each zone.

Source: PAN Parks criteria fourth draft

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WICE - Wageningen University

Visitor Management PAN Parks

4.2.3 Visitor experiences/recreation opportunities: facilities-servicesactivities
There are many benefits associated with recreation in the National Park but they can only be achieved/obtained when visitors come, and would like to return to the park. The available recreation opportunities must meet visitor needs. The visitor experience is influenced from two sides: from the demand side, and from the supply side. The demand side is formed by the visitor’s expectations. Expectations are based on motives, previous experiences and personal preferences. The supply side exists of all facilities and services provided by the park and staff. This is where this element is strongly related to interpretation; information and education, as well as to training programmes for staff as these subjects are part of the facilities and services provided by the park. A visitor is satisfied when the quality of the facilities and services meets or exceeds expectations. The Pan Parks organisation wants to realise the visitor’s dreams with a High Quality Nature Based Experience. In order to realise this any experience should contain the UNIQUEelements according to Schouten (1999) who adapted from previous work. When an attraction contains the UNIQUE-elements: Uncommon, Novelty, Inspiring, Quality, Understanding, and Emotions; the experience contains all the elements that attract visitors. When these elements are used it meets the visitor’s demand and is more likely to result in satisfaction. Uncommon, Novelty, Inspiring, Quality, Understanding, Emotions, it should be entertaining, the site is visited in leisure-time; it should raise curiosity, provide a new experience, a new insight; it should be provocative and stimulate; it should be customer oriented; it should lead to a profound understanding of the world around; it should evoke emotions and be a touching experience.

This might sound easier than that it is. What is a novelty for one tourist does not necessarily mean it is a novelty to someone else. The UNIQUE-experience is very much related to different target groups. The UNIQUE elements are used for good interpretation materials. This means that interpretation is an important tool for providing high quality experiences according this theory. Different park characteristics attract different visitors (market segments) who have different expectations and thus seek different experiences. This means that in order to satisfy the different market segments different experiences should be provided (Mill & Morrison 1996) See figure 4.2.
Figure 4.2: Park characteristics, market segments, expectations and experiences

Park Characteristics

Market Segments

Expectations and experiences

Mazursky has developed 'the model of experience'. He distinguishes three different phases in the experience of a visitor. These phases are the pre exposure phase, the direct exposure phase and the post exposure phase (Muzursky in Beunders & Boers 1996): 1. Pre exposure: This is the phase in which certain expectations regarding the product are created. This is done based on knowledge, past experiences and preferences. 2. Direct exposure: This is the phase in which the actual experience takes place 3. Post exposure: In this phase the visitor evaluates his experience. He compares it with the expectations he had.

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WICE - Wageningen University

Visitor Management PAN Parks

In the post exposure phase the visitor decides if he had a good holiday or not. It does not mean that when the experience did not meet the expectations the visitor returns dissatisfied. Maybe other (or new) intentions of the holiday were met or even exceeded and the visitor had a valuable experience which gave a different way of feeling satisfied about the holiday. It is important that the right expectations regarding the product are communicated to the right market segments (strong relationship with the element 'Profile'). In the Pre-exposure phase the right image of a PAN Park can be created by promotional activities for example. People know then what to expect or what not to expect. In the direct exposure phase the product will then meet the expectations of the visitor better so that satisfaction about the experience can be obtained best. Short reference to the PAN Parks criteria and indicators about this subject (table 4.7):
Table 4.7: PAN Parks criteria for this subject

Visitor experiences/recreation opportunities; facilities-services-activities:
Cr. 3.3 Visitors are offered with a wide spectrum of high quality nature-oriented experiences based on the visitor management plan. I. 3.3.1 List and specify activities (such as hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing) for different target groups. I 3.3.2 List and specify services (such as education and interpretation programmes) for different target groups. I 3.3.3 List and specify facilities (such as observation towers and nature trails) for different target groups. I. 3.3.4 List opportunities offered to visitors to observe and experience wildlife and other natural features of the protected area. I. 3.3.5 Indicate how number and type of visitors, their use of activities, facilities and services and the visitor satisfaction are being monitored. Indicate estimations on future trends on development of number and type of visitors. I. 3.3.6 Based on visitor satisfaction, describe how the quality of the activities, services and facilities are monitored and improved. Source: PAN Parks criteria fourth draft

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risk management is of crucial importance in remote wilderness areas because accidents happen.8. skills and physical fitness required for chosen activities Seek information from park staff about preparedness or the nature of risks inherent in planned activities Consider the information and advice provided through various park visitor safety programs and observe regulations Place a high priority on providing comprehensive prevention programs to minimise the potential for occurrences Inform and advice park users in selecting and planning recreational activities Consider visitor safety in the planning and delivery of programs Prepare a risk assessment based on an analysis of existing data and feed results into the park management planning process Develop a Public Safety Plan and update is annually in consultation with the heads of all park subactivities Provide a search and Rescue service to minimise fatalities. Parks Canada has made a list of potential hazards found within their Parks (Table 4. It is therefore included as an individual subject like Jubenville (1993) also identifies as a visitor management programme. Responsibilities of managers and staff: • • • • • • • Source: Deagle (1991) In Europe not all these responsibilities are responsibilities for the park management. In Canada policy and directives state that field operations must manage the risks of visitors of the natural. The subject of risk management will be explained by the Visitor Risk Management Programme developed for Parks Canada (Deagle 1991). This list is not exhaustive. Maybe not in all countries are visitor risks the responsibility of the park. injuries and human suffering. Co-operate with other agencies to provide SAR services in the park and adjacent areas. The directive recognises that the types and levels of services for search and rescue will vary between parks. Many different organisations are active in the area. cultural and developed environments. 26 .4 Risk Management Special attention should be paid to risk management. Table 4.8 : Responsibilities of park users and managers and staff: Responsibilities of park users: • • • • Exhibit a degree of responsibility for their own safety commensurate with the activities they undertake Be properly equipped and have levels of knowledge.2. Not only for the benefits of tourism must be managed.WICE . some of them should be seen as responsibilities whether they are legislative or not. Both the visitors as the management have their own responsibilities. These are shown in table 4. However.9). This overview can be used as a means to assess causes of hazards and to deduct management action and effective communication.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 4. At some points this subject has overlap with other subjects Interpretation and Recreation/Experience opportunities. It is a visitororiented approach that is also required in the PAN Parks criteria. For each type of hazard some examples are given. However.

Self reliance not prompted) Visitor characteristic hazards • Drug/alcohol hazards (poor judgement. peer pressure. waterfalls thin ice. group preparation) • Individual Characteristic hazards (mental/physical health/disability. ticks) • Hydrological hazards (Cold deep water. snow/freezing rain) • Insect/parasite and disease hazards (Bees.WICE . dense vegetation) • Meteorological hazards (strong winds. hornets. support structures) • Building hazards (water quality sewage/waste) • Camping and day use hazards (water quality. 3. wasps. supervision) • Operational hazards (garbage/snow removal. age acivity awareness) Source: Deagle (1991) Table 4. wild fires. dangerous behaviour) • Personal equipment hazards (condition of equipment/clothing footwear) • Group dynamics (leadership quality.9 ‘Indicate safety regulations concerning activities and the use of facilities and specify how these regulations will be monitored and updated’ Source: PAN Parks criteria fourth draft 27 . water quality.9: Potential hazards found within Parks Canada Sites Visitor Management PAN Parks Natural and cultural hazards • Geological hazards (caves/geothermal areas) • Faunal Hazards (wild or domestic animals) • Cultural hazards Historic buildings/ruins engineering works) • Topographical Hazards (steep or rough terrain. trail maintenance) Communication hazards • Sign hazards (Information not accurate. defaced or weathered) • Text hazards (information not accurate/available/targeting proper clients/ provided at proper stage of trip cycle. Table 4.3. playground equipment) • Swimming facility hazards (nonconfirmity to standards. warrants. support structures) • Water regulatory device hazards (unsafe dam structures) • Boat launch and dock hazards (location traffic congestion) • Road hazards (road surfaces design. confusing terrain • Floral hazards (toxic plants. fire pits.10 PAN Parks Indicator Risk management: I.Wageningen University Table 4.10 refers to the sole PAN Parks indicator that is defined for the management of visitor risks. strong current) Infrastructural hazards • Trail hazards (trail surface.

3. community and cultures so that these become beneficiaries and not victims of tourism development’ (UNCED 1992).11 PAN Parks indicators for the subject partnerships and co-operation Partnerships and co-operation I. monitoring and evaluation.WICE . 3. 3. 4.3: Visitor management supporting subjects included in PAN Parks criteria and indicators This section deals with the visitor management supporting subjects.7 ‘Describe existing and planned partnerships with communities and other partners on the use.1 Partnerships and co-operation Action of the visitor management plan should be carried out (and decided upon) with other stakeholders involved. This increases not only the effectiveness of management but also commitment towards the development and management of visitor management strategies.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 4.8 ‘Does the protected area management play proactive role in setting up and implementing sustainable tourism development strategy (as defined in PAN Parks principle 4)?’ Source: PAN Parks criteria fourth draft 28 . The task and actions associated with this subject are focussed on investigating and establishing the more formal relationships that may be required to implement the Visitor Management Plan. Sometimes it is required to establish more formal partnerships. Just as the element of Monitoring this strategy overlaps the other elements. improvement and widening the offer of nature-oriented expediencies’. This subject (co-operation) is part of the sustainable approach (regional development). Partnerships or working relationships can be established for specific projects. Partnerships and co-operation are essential elements of sustainable development.3. Synergy between the park and the region can be obtained when for example promotion activities are executed together. The UNCED definition of sustainable development includes elements: ‘Meet the needs of host regions’ ‘…maintain cultural integrity…’ ‘ operate in harmony with local environment.3. Table 4. and training programmes. Small local organisations have a better chance to survive when they have access to information centres. I. These are Partnership and cooperation.

1). In the LAC process monitoring allows managers to maintain a formal record of resource and social conditions over time and it allows managers to assess the effectiveness of management actions.3. It is used to manage impact caused by certain visitor activities. Second. The park and the communities use the information to find out how economic benefits can be realised. It has a relation with all the other subjects.12: Elements of monitoring Elements for monitoring Input for the visitor management process • • • • Monitoring processes Visitor management approach in all strategies • • • Infrastructure Training programme Partnerships Supporting existing operators Visitor safety • Visitor characteristics Natural features Cultural features Social features Economic features • • • • • Interpretation Impacts Recreational experience/opportunities Economic opportunities Profile • • Table 4.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 4. And third.1). the way in which visitor management is implemented has to be monitored too.2 Monitoring and evaluation Monitoring is an essential element of visitor management. The elements that have to be monitored for the visitor management plan are threefold. Table 4. For example. And visitor behaviour is analysed to adapt the risk management plan. the effectiveness of the different strategies and management activities is monitored (remember the relationship between the different visitor management subjects in Chapter 4. These elements lead in one way or another to visitor satisfaction and to maintenance/improvement of the regional environment. information about the visitors is used by the recreation/ experience opportunities in order to adapt the facilities. This means that the whole visitor management process is monitored McCool (1996) emphasises the importance of monitoring in the 11 principles of visitor management and the LAC application. He states that monitoring generally happens informally with little systematic planning and implementation. First. the visitor characteristics and all relevant elements of the park and its environment (remember the visitor management process described in Chapter 1.2) In fact it can be said that all the information that is needed for the different elements has to be analysed (monitored) and that all the processes in which that information is used are monitored too. Are the visitor management decisions taken from the approach that has been agreed upon? Is priority given to the right subjects? (remember the visitor management plan structures in Chapter 2. It is used to specify interpretative messages to market segments.WICE . services and activities to their needs. all the input for the visitor management process.13 shows the PAN Parks criteria for this subject 29 .

regular monitoring and assessing its effectiveness should be secured. describe how the quality of the activities.6. Indicate estimations on future trends on development of number and type of visitors. I. I 3.4 Are the effects of the visitor management plan's actions being monitored systematically? Can the plan be revised accordingly? I.6 Based on visitor satisfaction. Based on the assessment the management will be adapted and the plan updated. 3. services and facilities are monitored and improved.Wageningen University Table 4. I. Implementation. 3.13 PAN Parks criteria for the subject of monitoring Visitor Management PAN Parks Monitoring: Cr 3.WICE . 3. 3. Indicate safety regulations concerning activities and the use of facilities and specify how these regulations are monitored and updated.1. facilities and services and the visitor satisfaction are being monitored.4 Is the training programme monitored systematically? Can the plan be revised accordingly? Source: PAN Parks criteria fourth draft 30 .3.9. I. their use of activities. Protected area must have a visitor management plan.1.5 Indicate how number and type of visitors.3.3.

Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 4. Also the way in which facilities. 3. Behaviour of personnel highly influences the visitor experience and also the behaviour of visitors. services and facilities to visitors’.6.3 Training programmes In order to apply optimal visitor management. staff education could be useful. 3. 3.6. Table 4. I. This change in attitude requires different skills.4 Is the training programme monitored systematically? Can the plan be revised accordingly? Source: PAN Parks criteria fourth draft 31 . The attitude has been dealing with visitors instead of trying to provide them a satisfying experience.1Do you have a training programme for the staff and others involved in offering activities.6. Rangers and/or managers sometimes have no experience with recreation.6.14: PAN Parks criteria and indicators for the subject of training programmes Training Programme for staff and others involved: Cr.WICE . services and activities are offered is an example of the importance of visitor management knowledge. 3. This subject is therefore strongly related to the subjects of impact management and recreation experiences/opportunities (Black. I.3. methods and time schedule of the training programme. 3.6 ‘The visitor management plan includes a training programme for staff and other involved in offering activities. 1998).3 Are training needs of staff and other people involved assessed on a regular base? I. target groups.2 Specify goals. services and facilities to visitors? I.

Because of the diversity of subjects this element related to all the other visitor management subjects that are described in this chapter. However it is important.15: PAN Parks criteria that refer to the subject of Financial Management Financial management Indicator 3. This subject is about the financial matters in the park.4 Financial management: Visitor management is a time and money-costing tool.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 4. The PAN Parks indicator that refers to this subject is very general.1.WICE .3. There are multiple ways for the park to earn from visitor expenditures.3 Are there adequate resources for the implementation of the visitor management plan? Source: PAN Parks criteria fourth draft 32 . To some extend the expenses can be earned back from visitor expenditures. What is the budget for visitor management activities and how can it be spend most effectively? The expenditures and revenues have to be balanced. Table 4.

4 Visitor management additional subjects (not in PAN Parks criteria) This section deals with two subjects that are included in many visitor management plans used in national parks.WICE . Attracting the right market segment. 33 .1 Profile This subject is about the way the park is presented in visitor information. Careful selection of images ensure that sensitive areas are not promoted. Are for example all villages promoted as destination to spend a holiday or is tourism only concentrated in the major visitor attraction points for a day visit. The aim of the Waitakere West Coast is to encourage visitors from outside the Auckland Region to explore the City over a period of several days instead of only a one day visit to the city. At the same time theywant to encourage people from the Auckland region who already visit the West Coast to also consider the other activities or alternatives within Waitakere City. This means that people come with expectations that can be realised in the area. The aim of this subject is to get influence on the way the area is presented. 4. Question is what does the park want. Profiling the area is a tool to express the vision and to realise strategic objectives. The Waitakere Westcoast recognise the importance and possibilities of profiling the area.4. This subject has a strong relation with the subjects Impact management and Recreation/experience opportunities.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 4. environmental aware/ green visitors for example. There are no references to these subjects in the Pan Parks principles and criteria. Profiling the area has influence on the expectation of the visitor and can lead to a more diversified tourist area with a longer tourism season. is important for the conservation of the area. By profiling the area. profile and infrastructure. information must be oriented towards the right (desired) market segment (type of visitor).

This is because providing infrastructure can assist in mitigating some environmental or social impacts.piha.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 4.2 Infrastructure: Providing and upgrading of infrastructure can be a desirable subject as problems and poor quality of roads or a lack of public transportation possibilities may cause impacts on the environment or on the experience of the visitor. marked walking trails).WICE . Piha Tourism distinguishes two different categories of infrastructure. First. This subject will be explained by giving a part of Waitekere City visitor strategy. 'For example "under provision" of car parking may help to limit visitor numbers but it can also encourage people to park illegally which can be a nuisance to residents. Secondly. On the other hand extending car parking facilities and to cope with summer demand may encourage more visitors and is also likely to have a negative impact on the amenity of the area.co.who may benefit from having a level of service higher than they would if there were no visitors'. (Signage. infrastructure which acts as a drawcard to visitors by greatly enhancing the attractiveness of the area or the convenience of visiting an area.nz/tourism. Providing more signs with visitor information can encourage people to behave appropriately but may also reduce visual amenity'. which has included this subject as follows in their strategy (http://www. 34 .4.while exacerbating other impacts. (road sealing for example). 'Of course most visitor related infrastructure will also be used by residents. infrastructure which enhances the convenience or the quality of the visitor experience once there but are unlikely to be a major drawcard.htm#draft): 'The appropriate provision of infrastructure… can be a complex issue. At the same time not providing (or under-providing) infrastructure can have the same effect'.

Goal of the PAN Parks organisation is that a strategy is developed that works towards optimising the quality of the different subjects.5 Conclusion Goals and objectives about the first seven above stated subjects must be included in the Visitor Management Plan in order to be taken into consideration to become a PAN Park. This means that there is a certain level of overlap at these points. Visitor impacts are caused by visitor use. Interpretation. It can be assumed that an integrated approach is more effective for managing these subjects. In literature there is referred to most often as carrying capacity frameworks or systems. In this way management works effectively to improve the existing situation.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 4. 35 . The direct relation ship between impact management and management for recreation and experience opportunities is recognised by different Parks already. the type of use influences the type of impacts. which is already described in the previous sections. the sensitivity of the area defines the recreation opportunities. Monitoring stands for all the analytical parts that form the basis of the different elements and evaluation stands for the monitoring of the effectiveness of the different strategies. Many of the identified elements have points in which they overlap each other. Infrastructure. It is too ambitious to expect that within a short period of time all the subjects will be perfectly organised. Profile and Training programmes. Different theories have been developed that deal with the question of how to combine nature and recreation/experiences in such a way that the nature protection and the experience are optimised best. Besides this direct relationship both management types deal with the subjects. The relationship between the two different management subjects is inevitable. These two elements are always identified when is spoken about visitor management. Visitor Management is a process and new objectives are set when the previous ones have been realised. In the next chapter strategies that deal with visitor management subjects will be analysed. All visitor management elements must be monitored.WICE . The most important points of overlap are between Impact management and Recreation/experience -management. the characteristics of the environment influence the type of experience etc. This will be part of the new input for the monitoring. Impact management and management for recreation/experience opportunities (facilities-servicesactivities) have a strong relationship with each other.

The framework sought to facilitate the systematic provision of a spectrum of conditions.WICE . First. This represents a fundamental change in orientation in Parks from a product or supply basis to an outward-looking market sensitive one (Graham et al.1.1. 5. 1987). The strategies that are evaluated are shown in table 5. the ROS was an effort to respond to the need for diversity in recreation settings. or by application in a mechanistic. 1999). 36 . ROS has never really been successfully applied because of a lack of adequate functional integration.2 The Visitor Activity Management Program (VAMP) VAMP was developed by the Canadian Parks Service. because many outdoor recreational activities occur in natural settings where other management activities are present. The ROS provided a conceptual framework for thinking about how to create a diversity of recreation experiences rather than just provide standard recreational facilities (Driver 1989).1. The aim of this analysis is to be able to recommend strategies for dealing with visitor management subjects. 5.1. According to Hall and McArthur. 5..1 will respectively be analysed in the following sections. it tries to meet the wants of different types of visitors. VAMP has a visitor-oriented approach..1 Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) Stankey et al. Description of the different strategies The visitor management strategies that are mentioned in table 5. It integrates visitor activity demands with resource opportunities and in this way specific opportunities for visitors are created.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 5. The ROS is a conceptual framework that is premised on the assumption that quality is best assured through the provision of a diverse array of opportunities. by conflicting interests.1: Overview of different visitor management strategies Abbreviation ROS CC LAC VIM VERP VAMP Strategies Recreation Opportunity Spectrum Carrying Capacity Limits of Acceptable Change Visitor Impact Management (National Parks and Conservation Association) Visitor Experience and Resource Protection (National Parks Service) Visitor Activity Management (Parks Canada) These lists are not exhaustive but deal with internationally applied strategies developed after 1980. (1998) the key limitation to the use of ROS is its emphasis on the setting at the expense of the type of visitor. it was important that the system facilitate assessment and evaluation of the reciprocal effects between recreation and other activities. Secondly these systems are evaluated on the PAN Parks principles and criteria. uncritical manner (Stankey et al. Table 5. (1999) describe three features of the background of the framework. Visitor Management Strategies This chapter first describes different strategies that deal with various visitor management subjects. It was an attempt to integrate visitor management with other elements of park management. Third. it initiated utilisation of a consumer oriented paradigm to guide recreation planning and management (Driver et al. 1988). Second.

• The use of standards belonging to each of the indicators to define the ‘limits of acceptable change’. Standards represent the maximum level of impact judged acceptable in a specific opportunity class (Borrie. Based on the system of LAC other systems like VIM and VERP are based.WICE .1. above which recreation quality could not be sustained. 5. The predominant focus on carrying capacity has unfortunately misdirected attention almost solely at controlling numbers of visitors. Planners have enlarged the definition of carrying capacity to make it better applicable for recreation. For several reasons carrying capacity as a guiding concept has limited success outside the field of wildlife management and cannot deal with the complexity and diversity of issues associated with tourism and recreation (Wight 1998). The amount of impact is influenced by factors like type of use. and Stankey 1997. These systems deal with different visitor management elements. managers. 1987). entrepreneurs. citizens. • They use indicators for different areas to ‘measure’ if the important and unique conditions of the existing situation are heading towards the desired situation. But the full implementation of VAMP has been limited. and visitor behaviour.3 Carrying Capacity (CC) Carrying capacity is a strategy that attempts to manage visitor impacts. facility capacity (development parameters). timing of use. • They all use some sort of zoning system to distinguish different management/opportunity areas. • All systems try to find a balance between recreational use and nature conservation. 1988 in Hall and McArthur 1998). McCool. These systems are based on the principles mentioned above and have also some other important elements in common. and social capacity (experience parameters).4 Limits of acceptable change (LAC) In 1985 the US Forest Service developed a new approach to address carrying capacity. Carrying capacity focuses attention on the question.1. deflecting attention away from many more useful actions based on an understanding of relationships between visitation levels. which makes it a flexible programme. 1998) • Monitoring plays in all systems an active role. McCool. The concept is borrowed from wildlife management. Stankey. “How many is too many?” when the question confronting protected area managers is “What are the appropriate or acceptable conditions for visitation and how do we achieve them?” • • 5. These are the following: • In all systems there is co-operation between all the actors with interest. In this field carrying capacity refers to the maximum number of animals a given unit of land can support on a sustained basis without destruction of the resource base (Hammit & Cole. Both ecological and social impacts of recreation and tourism use are often influenced by variables other than amount of use (Borrie. area goals and local community expectations (Lindberg. McCool 1996. A strategy that tries to answer the question “How much decline or change is appropriate or acceptable?’ The limits of acceptable change planning system is a planning procedure designed to identify preferred resource and social environmental conditions in a given recreation area and to guide the development of management techniques to achieve and to protect those conditions (Wight 1998). physical capacity (space parameters). Some of the reasons are the following: • Carrying capacity assumes a fixed and known relationship between use level and impact parameters. In recreation it was hoped that a maximum number of users could be specified. Shelby and Herbelein (1984) (in Wight 1998) subdivided carrying capacity into ecological capacity (ecosystem parameters). Even Parks Canada admits that VAMP is ‘a skeleton in need of further development to establish a technical capability… there is no capability in the park management planning process which can be called upon to express VAMP input spatially’ (Graham et al. McCool and Stankey 1998).Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks VAMP includes monitoring and evaluation programmes for feedback. McCool and Stankey 1989). • Each system recognises that effective management involves both scientific and judgmental considerations. impacts. Monitoring the indicators is an essential element 37 .

Inventory and evaluation 4. Graefe (1992) defines VIM as a framework for assessing and managing the environmental and experiential impacts of increasing numbers of visitors to natural areas. Comparison of standards and existing conditions Identify probable causes of impacts 7.5 Visitor impact management (VIM) The VIM approach is also an extension of the ROS approach used to assess the impacts of visitors on a resource and recreation experience (Wight 1998). Evaluate and select alternative management actions 9. Identification of problem conditions of unacceptable visitor impacts (e. 5. 2. 8. Inventory existing resource and social conditions 5. Identify management strategies Implement 9. Conflicts between recreationists using a resource) 2. Define and describe opportunity classes Standards and indicators 3.g. 2. Selection of key impact indicators Selection of standards for key impacts indicators 3. 38 . 1994): 1. 4. implementation and monitoring 7. and 3.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Table 5. Identify alternative opportunity class allocations Actions.WICE .1. VIM helps to address three issues inherent in impact management (Vaske et al. Greafe et al (1990) suggested that visitor management may be direct (regulate or restrict visitor activities) or indirect (influence visitor behaviour).2: Comparison of visitor management frameworks LAC Initiate and identify issues 1. Develop/refine management strategies to address discrepancies 5. Assemble the project team Develop statements of park purposes. 8. Preassessment data base review Review management objectives VERP 1. Specify opportunity class standards 6. 6. significance and primary interpretive themes Map and analyse resources and visitor experiences Establish the spectrum (or range) of desired resource and social conditions (potential management zones) Use zoning to identify proposed plan alternatives Select quality indicators and specify associated standards for each zone Compare desired conditions to existing conditions Identify probable causes of discrepancies between desired and existing conditions 3. Select indicators of resource and social conditions VIM 1. Identify management actions 8. Determination of potential causal factors affecting the occurrence and severity of unacceptable impacts. 4. 6. Selection of potential management strategies to address the unacceptable conditions VIM recognises that limiting use is only one of a number of strategies. Define issues and concerns Goals 2. 7. Implement and monitor Source: Wight (1998) 5.

are intended to give park managers the information and the rationale needed to make sound decisions about visitor use and gain the public agency support needed to implement those decisions (NPS 1993). 39 . Visitor management is defined as ‘a client oriented approach to planning and service delivery that considers the visitor’s needs. It is a flexible seven-step process of which the foundation is a site’s risk assessment (need analysis). TOMM has borrowed key strengths of the VIM and LAC. economic conditions of the tourism industry and socio-cultural conditions of the local community 3.WICE .1. 5. VERP looks at the desired ecological and social conditions. viability of the tourism industry and empowerment of stakeholders.131) state that the conceptual emphasis of TOMM is on achieving optimum performance rather than limiting activity. Covers environmental and experimental elements. The prescriptions coupled with a monitoring program. The Loss might be as simple as the pain of a twisted ankle or as complex as a liability claim ending in a lawsuit’ (Parks Canada).7 Tourism Optimisation Management Model TOMM The TOMM model has been developed by Mandis and Roberts and has been applied firstly in Kangaroo Island South Australia. In a similar vein to LAC and VIM. rather than measures of the maximum sustainable use (Wight 1998). expectations and satisfaction (Parks Canada). Besides environmental and experiential elements TOMM addresses characteristics of the tourist market.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 5. Based on these conditions. Hall and McArthur (1998 p. A risk in risk management is described as ‘ any unintentional event or situation that leads to the loss for an organisation. Contains three main parts.6 Visitor experience and resource protection implementation plan (VERP) The VERP process interprets carrying capacity not so much as a prescription of numbers of people but as a prescription of desired ecological and social conditions. context analysis. 5. The idea is to provide measures of the appropriate conditions. Instead of limiting activity. McVetty and Wight (1998) state that the recent application of TOMM confirms its potential for addressing the planning issues encountered in developing tourism opportunities in sensitive and protected areas.1.137) describe three key characteristics of TOMM: 1. TOMM positions a range of influences a range of influences in the heritage-visitor relation to focus on sustainability of the heritage.1. rather than at the numbers of people. economic conditions of the tourist industry and supporting local populations. viability of the tourism industry and empowerment of stakeholders 2. it focuses on achieving optimum performance by addressing the sustainability of the heritage. monitoring programme and management response system Hall and McArthur (1998 p. as well as characteristics of the tourist market. VRM was developed to meet the special requirements for visitor safety. Key principles have been combined from the fields of risk management and visitor management. In this respect TOMM is more politically sensitive to the forces that shape visitation and subsequent impacts. Measures of the appropriate conditions replace the measurement of maximum sustainable use.8 Visitor Risk Management (VRM) Visitor Risk Management is a management framework for public safety programs. the process identifies and documents the kinds and levels of use that are appropriate as well as where and when such uses should occur. then broadened their focus into fields linked with the tourist industry and the local community.

On the other hand there was the development of systems that were more oriented at the visitor experience.1.3: Visitor management strategies and subjects Visitor management Subjects Interpretation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Minimising impacts Visitor experience/ recreation opportunities Safety Training Programmes Monitoring Partnerships New ec.1: Development of frameworks Ecological oriented • • C.9 Overview: After the analysis of the different visitor management systems it can be concluded that two different approaches have come together to create the latest systems like VERP and TOMM. LAC VIM VERP NBAL VAMP ROS VRM TOMM x x x x x x x x x x x i x i x x x i x i i i i x x i i i x i i i i x x i i 10 Infrastructure 11 X: The strategy deals with the subject I: Indirect relation to the subject No symbol: The strategy does not necessarily deal with the subject or to a limited extend 40 . Figure 5.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 5. LAC Integrated systems VAMP VIM Visitor oriented • ROS VERP TOMM 5.C.C. LAC and ROS will not be taken in consideration for further analysis because they integrate to lesser extent different visitor management elements. Improvements are made to adapt the strategies for more practical applicability. VERP and TOMM are two systems both developed on the VIM system.3. VAMP. Table 5.2 Evaluation of the different strategies From the literature analysis could be concluded that not all strategies that are/have been applied in Parks in the world have been successful. The visitor management subjects where these strategies deal with are shown in table 5. PAN Parks will not advise those strategies that have proven in practice to be not practical applicable or that need adaptation for dealing with the visitor management subjects they are developed for. CC. VIM. VIM is seen as an extension of the ROS approach (Wight 1998) and it has a similar approach to impact management as LAC has.WICE . On the one hand there was a more ecological impact oriented approach that started with applying CC on recreational settings and later included the structured system of LAC. Opportunities Support existing operators Profile C. NBAL as a system does not meet all the PAN Parks criteria and will not be considered for that reason. ROS was an answer to more diversity in recreational settings and VAMP was an attempt to integrate park and visitor management in a visitor oriented flexible structure. VERP and TOMM are integrated systems that are more advanced at this point.

environmental. • Time consuming • Desired education Integration possibilities with other strategies Process oriented structure • Analysing and documenting.3. 41 .4 is an evaluation of the different strategies on the visitor management philosophy. 12. x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x 16. Criteria Recognise the considerations of visitor use (eleven principles McCool 1996) Ease of implementation. Each of the visitor management subjects has own criteria. The PAN Parks principles and criteria will be tested on those systems that have a positive score on the subjects. In the following tables the different strategies are examined on whether they meet the Pan Parks criteria or not. Table 5. These criteria are in line with the PAN Parks visitor management approach as is described in chapter 3. 18. This analysis identifies the strategies for further analysis. when it meets them.WICE . reactive approach. Each strategy has been evaluated on criteria that have been identified after literature research on visitor management approaches.4: Evaluation strategies on visitor management approach Category Managerial No 10. These have been described earlier. • Different zones • Different target groups Pro-active approach vs. Structure and strategy 13. x x x x x 14.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Based on the analysis of the evaluated strategies the visitor management subjects they deal with are marked in table 5. 17. and visitor oriented CC LAC ROS VAMP VIM VERP TOMM VRM - x x x x x x x x x 11. the strategy is not supported by the PAN Parks criteria. In case they do not. these strategies could be recommended to be used as a strategy that deals with the subject. Sustainable approach towards impacts 15. Cause solving Local involvement integrated in process Beyond nature orientation: Social. This strategy will be tested on the Pan parks criteria and can. Identification of problem conditions • Goals and objectives setting • Strategic plan • Monitoring and evaluation of management actions Differentiated approach. Only the VRM strategy deals with visitor safety on a certain level. be recommended to park managers. economic. Future oriented Cause solving vs. cultural. Table 5. In case they do. problem solving.

5) are very similar for all the systems. Further conclusions can not be taken on this analysis.5: Evaluation of strategies on PAN Parks criteria Visitor Management PAN Parks Interpretation • • • • • Different target groups Create understanding and support for conservation goals Different messages and techniques for target groups Communication of code of conduct Visitor centres VIM x x x VERP x x x VAMP x x x TOMM x x x Comments • Availability and accessibility of information Zoning system (spatial element) Carrying Capacity Code of conduct is a means to influence behaviour not an element of one of the systems Dependent on the Park’s philosophy on how to communicate with the target groups Management decision.Wageningen University Table 5. Another reason for the similarities in results is that the evaluated strategies have many elements in common. The PAN Parks principles and criteria are not distinctive enough to appoint differences. not element of the systems Impact management • • • • • • • VIM x VERP x VAMP x TOMM x All systems use CC as a means for impact management and not an end Different measures to avoid negative impacts Future oriented (pro active) Visitor oriented Structured Recognise principles of visitor management x x x x x VIM x x x x x x x x x VERP x x x x x x x x x VAMP x x x x x x x x x TOMM x x x x Dependent on the natural characteristics and opportunities whether these have to be constructed or not Recreation / experience opportunities • • • • • Wide spectrum of experiences Activities services and facilities for different target groups nature-based Visitor oriented (quality) Opportunities to observe wildlife • Monitoring Risk management • • • Regulations Communication Monitoring and updating x VRM x x x x x x Comments The results of this analysis (table 5. Reason for this in on the one hand that the PAN Parks Principles and criteria are not very prescriptive. They leave the park free to choose a way to integrate these elements in the existing system.WICE . 42 . The PAN Parks principles and criteria appoint elements that should be included in visitor management.

3. Profile 10. facilities-servicesactivities Visitor safety Partnerships and co-operation Monitoring and evaluation Training programs Financial management Apart from analysing the visitor management elements that are included in the Pan Parks criteria the additional visitor management elements are analysed too. This is the part of conclusions and recommendations for the core zone of La Vésubie. 7. +/There is dealt with the situation but not all criteria are met in the way they should. Each subject will be analysed and described in 3 phases (A-B-C) First the existing situation is analysed (A).Information Minimising impacts Visitor experiences/recreation opportunities.2: visitor management subjects not included in PAN Parks criteria Visitor management elements additional to Pan Parks criteria 9. + This subject can be improved. 5. The rating system used for all the assessments uses plusses and minuses: ++ There should be continued in the way there is worked at the moment. Table 6. Based on this analysis the park knows to what extent they meet the PAN Parks criteria and indicators from the visitor management principle. Education. This assessment focuses on the core zone of the Park. Interpretation.WICE . 6. are used to evaluate the management practices (B). Analysis and evaluation of La Vésubie Mercantour National Park This chapter assesses the situation of one of the sectors of the Mercantour national Park. 4. the sector La Vésubie. Table 6. The literature that is gathered in chapter 3 is used for this assessment. The PAN Parks principles and criteria. Part C points out elements of attention to improve visitor management in the Park.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 6. 8. There is not sufficiently dealt with the subject -There is not dealt with this subject 43 .1 : Visitor management subjects included in PAN Parks criteria Visitor management elements included in PAN Parks principles and criteria 1. transport and traffic After the assessment of the different visitor management subjects in La Vésubie the visitor management philosophy is evaluated on the Pan Parks principles and criteria. 2. In this area different management is practised than in the buffer zone. Infrastructure: Access.

44 . There is a special room for expositions. The expositions would change in all visitor centres throughout the year. Some sectors have in high season extra information points at highly frequented entrances. • Interpretation in the visitor centres. education and information at the entrances At all entrances large panels can be found. posters and stickers. These projects are developed for each sector and are mainly focussed on creating an overall image of the sector and its possibilities as on working at the site itself.1. At the moment the exposition is the same all year. This subject is divided in three different elements: • Interpretation at the entrances. The subjects vary. Education. special animal species like the Ibex and the Gypaete.Information. Interpretation. There is no interpretative material available in the centre in La Vésubie. In the headquarters in Nice they have started with extensive interpretation programmes that are linked with the sustainable tourism strategy in the buffer zone of the park. These provide information about natural features that can be found alongside the trail. These guides are certified by the park and provide a lot of information during their excursion. Interpretation. Large information panels describe these features. transport and traffic. 6. Some of the panels are different for each entrance. These used to be similar at all entrances: one panel with a map of the park and a panel with the regulations (code of conduct). Here the situation in La Vésubie will be described. The park has partnerships with guide associations. They distribute brochures about for example different guided tours. facilitiesservices-activities. Minimising impacts. That means that there will be respectively dealt with the subjects of Interpretation.1 Interpretation: Information/Education First the subject of interpretation will be analysed. education and information in the visitor centres Each sector has a visitor centre. Infrastructure: Access.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 6. New panels have been developed and are more attractive and interesting. Every week in high season some information afternoons are held. education and information in the park In each sector interpretation trails have been developed. In future this will be integrated with local museums and artisans. Visitor safety.WICE . For La Vésubie the development of such a plan has not yet started. • Interpretation in the park and. Interpretation. and about publications. After that the evaluation on the PAN Parks criteria and indicators follows and finally conclusions and recommendations related to this subject follow. In the sector of La Vésubie a new visitor centre will be built this winter (2001).1 Assessment of visitor management core subjects by PAN Parks criteria in La Vesubie The same structure is used for this section as is used for chapter 5 that described the different elements. Educational material is available in the ‘library’. the wolf as a special feature attracts many visitors each time. A: Analysis Each sector in Mercantour National Park can decide about the contents of the visitor centre and the information on the panels. Publications and videos can also be bought in the visitor centre just as other souvenirs like T-shirts. Visitor experiences/recreation opportunities. Five panels will inform in future about the special features of the area.

+/+/- Different target groups - Cr 3. Then the demand is the highest.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks B: Assessment of the PAN Parks criteria and indicators Results of the assessment of the PAN Parks criteria: Table 6.2 Different messages and techniques 3. There used to be brochures in English but because of a lack of demand they are now only available in Italian and French.5. Visitors from abroad have to be disappointed outside the high season. maps Expositions Information evenings Souvenirs Library Hostesses Information panels Interpretation trails Certified guides In the interpretation and sustainable tourism development programmes that have been developed target groups have been defined: • Visitors from proximity • Visitors from the côte d’azur • Nature oriented visitors (mountains) • Extreme experiences • Wintersports • Youth • Elderly Interpretation is hardly used as a means to educate visitors about proper behaviour and natural features.3: PAN Parks criteria assessment for La Vésubie on the subject of interpretation Interpretation. information and interpretation List and specify services* Booklets. 3. videos.4 and indicators: Create understanding and support Cr.5 goals and policy for visitor centre 3.3 Availability and accessibility of information + 3.WICE . Not at this moment in La Vésubie No segmentation in the sector.4 Different languages *Maybe not exhaustive +/- 45 .5. Different books are available for small children and for the more nature oriented visitors In high season the visitor centre is opened and are presentations given. Especially the visitor centre has much more potential There are no goals nor policy at the level of the sector In the interpretation plans that are being developed for other regions different target groups have been distinguished. brochures.1 Target groups -- - 3.5. Seasonality is really strong especially for regional visitors.5.

Information that is available in the visitor centre and in the park is not directed at special target groups.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks C: Conclusions and recommendations Providing information is not the same as interpretation. Segmentation is essential for interpretation programmes but should be done with caution. that reflect more personal traits about people (motivations. This vision is also in line with the nature-based perspective on visitor management that is required by PAN Parks. This is explained in Chapter 4. Clear policies should be set and in this way a better distinction can be made between the governmental information centres and the National Park’s visitor centres. The information that was on the panel can also be found in the library in the visitor centre but is not as easily accessible. level of interest and understanding about a topic). For information sharing purposes it is useful to use the same groups. PAN Parks aims at a strategic approach for all the visitor management subjects. likely participation in certain recreational activities and comprehension level (McArthur 1998 p. Visitor centres is one of them. expectations.67). and • manage visitor flows. The possibilities and opportunities of interpretation are not optimally used in La Vésubie. At the moment some segments are based on motivation/activities. This information is useful in suggesting familiarity with the heritage site. They know that a flower species is very rare and thus they pay more attention when they search a place for their tent and when they see the unique bird they are happy because they are aware of the fact that they have seen something special. some on place of residence and some on age. might vary from sector to sector. However. psychographic characteristics. Other visitors might have been attracted to a certain location to search for rare species.WICE . 1997). interpreters should ‘share the same language’ and design programs accordingly. Also demographic characteristics can vary. Target groups have been identified for the buffer zone in other sectors of the park. McArthur (1998) claims that because of the relation with the marketing. The additional value of the park’s visitor centre is limited. • visitor safety. The Visitor Experience and Resource Protection Framework (VERP) would recommend segmentation based on experience opportunities that can be found in the park (National Park Service. 46 . The visitor centre can provide more information to increase • the visitor experience. attitude. For example: in the visitor centre there could be a panel that describes species that can only be found at an altitude of +3000m. When visitors are walking in that area their experience might be higher because the panel looked attractive and motivated them to read the information. • environmental awareness (thoughtful behaviour).

4. Table 6.WICE . He identified four different types of impacts on the trails caused by visitor use (and waether conditions): 1.4: Visitor impacts on trails Visitor impacts on trails Ad 1: Ravine moulding This is the number one impact on the trails in Mercantour National Park (Moccochain 1999). The deeper trail becomes the more fragile and sensitive it becomes for frequentation and weather conditions (rainfall). This paragraph is about the possible impacts that occur in a high mountain National Park like Mercantour. and degradation of vegetation. leads to a network of informal trails (Dedoublement et recoupement de sentier) Because mountain biking has become very popular and the impacts on the trails huge. Subsidement of trail (Eboulement) 3. This leads to an increase of the inclination and to groups of stones downhill.2 Visitor Impacts The presence of humans in a nature area has inevitably impacts on the nature. This can cause a disappearance of the trail and can lead to dangerous situations. 3. A: Analysis Giongo. Because the surface of the park is very rocky. Ravine moulding (Ravinement de sentier) 2. This division has been used to evaluate the current situation in Mercantour National Park. Ad 3: Trail depth This impact appears at places where the composition of the surface of the trail is weak and at places where no rocks or tree roots limit the impact. Ad 2: Subsidement of trail This type of impact leads to disappearance of the upper layer of the trail. shortcutting of trails The reasons for this type of impact are for parallel trails that there is an obstacle in the trail (large stone or tree roots) and for shortcutting that it will make up for lost time. Bare rock or muddy trails are the result. The impacts that are mentioned are caused by walking and climbing. The result is a network of undesired trails increasing the surface of ravine moulding. The question is to what extent are impacts acceptable and how can they be managed. Ravine moulding always leads to an increase of the inclination of the trail in the width of the trail. Trail depth (Surcreusement de sentier) 4.2 Category A: Bio Physical Impacts Type of impact 1. 2. Ad 4: Parallel trails.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 6.1. First an analysis of the different impacts is described and after that the PAN Parks criteria evaluate the existing situation. A more complete list is included in Chapter 3. The dynamics of erosion (water. snow. shortcutting of trails. different visitor impacts will occur than in a wetland. wind) combined with trampling cause this degradation. Parallel trails. Soil erosion Moccochain (1999) has effected a research on the quality of the trails in the sector of the Vesubie. Soil erosion Impacts on vegetation Impacts on wildlife Impacts on water quality Impacts on local residents Impacts on the visitor experience B: Social Impacts Bio Physical impacts 1. 2. Bosco-Nizeye &Wallace (1993) identified different visitor impacts. this activity is only allowed at limited places. 1. The trail becomes more difficult to access and stimulates the creation of parallel trails. The stones on the surface of the trail are disappearing. 47 .

For this reason boardwalks are created to relieve these areas from pressure. Humid areas are very sensitive areas too. and delta flying for example lead to stressful conditions for the ungulates.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 2. Stressful conditions 3. Wildlife photographers who follow the animals for some time to take a good picture create another type of stressful conditions. Some of these species are very sensitive for human presence others are not. the diversity of species diminishes. The effects on the soil and herbs at the location of the fire last long. 153 bird species. The impacts of trampling can be really destructive. The animals take refuge in the forest and return at night to the fields (internal document). Impacts on vegetation Impacts on the vegetation are caused by different visitor activities: walking/bivouacking/ fishing and picnicking As already mentioned above. Many studies are executed on the disturbance of wildlife caused by outdoor recreational activities. The reaction distance in 800m. 58 mammal species. Besides. 3. The impacts are severe. Another impact from trampling is for example exposure of tree roots. Mountain climbing/alpinism scares bird species and can have severe impacts wen this happens in the breeding season. only few places are available to put up a tent. This exhausts the animals as it keeps on running away from the person. Habituation and taming 4. it still happens. As people walk around the lake. 2 reptile and amphibian species and between 5000 and 8000 invertebrates are present in the park (Carte d'identité 1999). bivouacking around the lake leads to the same impacts.WICE . the remainders of a fire invite people to make a fire too. This leads to stressful conditions in the frontier zone. Poaching/over harvesting 2. Lakes are very popular places to bivouac. The recuperation time is long. Impacts on wildlife An enormous variety of animals live in Mercantour National Park. However in the buffer zone this is permitted. although forbidden. Modification of habitat use Hunting in the park is prohibited. Animals get frightened from the sounds of the guns and are chased by the dogs that don't see the difference between buffer. Apart from this effect that is caused by trampling. 1. Along popular trails impacts on the vegetation can be identified because the same places are used for putting up the tent. Another result can be that the animals get habituated to the presence of human and do not flee away anymore. Parasailing. At this moment these impacts do not have a destructive effect on the vegetation. negative impacts from walking off trail (parallel trails/shortcutting) impacts the vegetation. In order to collect firewood branches are removed from living trees. These animals have adapted to the presence of human beings. Dogs are not allowed in the park in order to minimise the transmission of diseases to animals. Many of them are protected species. Some chamois almost come to eat out of hands. At high altitude vegetation grows slowly and rare plant species occur. Information panels at the entrances of the park do not always help to avoid these impacts. Some of them adapt to the new situation others flee away. Transmission of diseases 5. At the moment it is possible to take pictures from ibex for example.and the core-zone. Bivouacking invites people to make a fire. The vegetation aside lake areas is also very sensitive. As the surface is very rocky and hilly at most places. 48 . 5 direct impacts can be identified.

Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks There is hardly any modification of habitat use because of the regulations of the park. 4. A zoning programme for visitor experiences is not yet developed for this region.5 is an overview of the visitor management activities in La Vésubie for managing negative biophysical impacts. In most places is unnecessary to take measures because the nature itself is capable of purifying the water. But might be necessary to avoid visitor conflicts in future. Impacts on the local residents can thus not be identified in this situation. Impacts on water quality Most severe water pollution is caused by the refuges that are situated in the park. The area has a wide array of characteristics and is large enough to avoid conflicts between users. In the buffer zone of the park some areas have multiple purposes. The river purifies the water itself within a few kilometres from the source of pollution. Locals also profit from these activities. Large refuges have a water purification system that minimises the impact. Festivals and events are organised regularly. Shortage of parking places in the centre of the villages and crowded supermarkets lead to irritation by the local residents.6 is an overview of the social impacts and the measures taken by the management. Table 6. Table 6. When the number of visitors raises this could lead to conflicts. In the buffer zone of the park many people are living and tourism leads to different problems in the high season.WICE . Social Impacts Impacts on the local residents There are no people living in the core zone of the Mercantour National Park. Building permits are not given to constructors and there are no other influences that lead to this type of impact. Some trails are used for mountainbiking and for hiking. Impacts on the visitor experience Mercantour National Park offers different kinds of visitor experiences. Tourism on the other hand creates many jobs in the region and leads to many services and facilities. However not in all cases is this sufficient. 49 . Monitoring water pollution is done regularly.

WICE . and • Discourage or prohibit off-trail travel give penalties in case • Segregate different type of visitors of disobedience.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Table 6.5: Overview of biophysical visitor impacts and applied measures and possible measures Visitor activities Biophysical Impacts Soil Impacts Impacts Impacts erosion on on on water vegeta wildlife quality tion Measures taken by Mercantour National park Creation of steps Re plantation Boardwalks Restoration of trail (see picture) • New trail • Repair the original trail and put obstacles at the beginning and the end of the undesired trail • Trail maintenance • Build boardwalks • Prohibiting flower/fruit collection • Interpretative signs/ information panels • Taking walking trails of the map to minimise stressful conditions • Prohibit dogs • Interpretative signs • • • • Possible measures (Col et al.00 and • Locate facilities on durable sites 09. • Prohibit construction X X X X X X X • Limited allowance • Special trail 50 . skills and/or equipment • Teach a wilderness ethic • Encourage or require a party size and/or stock limit • Discourage or prohibit livestock • Discourage or prohibit pets Increase the resistance of the resource • Shield the site from impact • Strengthen the site Maintain or rehabilitate the resource • Remove problems • Maintain or rehabilitate impacted locations X X Bivouac Refuges X X Cycling/mtb Mountain climbing/ Alpinism Fishing Picnicking Wildlife observers/ Photographers Horse riding Modify the location of use within problem areas • Prohibiting fire • Discourage or prohibit camping and/or stock use on certain • Allow bivouac campsites and/or locations between 19. 1987) Walking Off-trail walking X Reduce use of the entire area • Limit number of visitors in the entire area • Encourage use of other areas • Require certain skills and/or equipment • Charge a flat visitor fee Reduce use of problem areas • Inform potential visitors of the disadvantages of problem areas and/or advantages of alternative areas • Discourage or prohibit use of problem areas • Encourage or require a length of stay limit in problem areas • Make access to problem areas more difficult and/or improve access to alternative areas • Encourage off-trail travel • Establish differential skill and/or equipment requirements • Charge differential visitor fees Modify timing of use • Encourage use outside of peak use periods • Discourage or prohibit use when impact potential is high • Charge fees during periods of high use and/or high impact potential Modify type of use and visitor behaviour • Discourage or prohibit particularly damaging practices and/or equipment • Encourage or require certain behaviour.00 only • Concentrate use on sites through facility design and or • Control the fulfilment information of the regulations.

6.WICE . Interpretation programmes are not directed at managing impacts. Main visitor impacts are caused on the trails and this is expensive and time consuming maintenance A code of conduct is used to stimulate proper behaviour. • No zoning system inside core zone • Strong concentration of use in national holiday periods +/--+/- Measures against negative impacts 51 .7: PAN Parks criteria assessment for La Vésubie on the subject of impact management Impact management criteria and indicators Cr. This year visitor numbers have been calculated what can be used a start for assessing CC Measures to avoid negative impacts are taken ‘ad-hoc’ there is no active approach. Winter sports Ski de randonnee/ off piste Ski de fond Racket X • Visitor information Measures social impacts Table 6. For overview see table 6.2 Visitor management Safeguards natural values Ecological CC is assessed Assessment Mercantour National Park There is no impact assessment or strategy that deals with managing impacts No maximum or minimum carrying capacity level is defined.6: Overview of social visitor impacts and applied measures and possible measures Social Impacts Local Impacts on the visitor residents experience Crowding Measures taken by Mercantour National Park • • Selective signposting Information providence Other possible measures Modify visitor expectations • Inform visitors about appropriate uses • Inform visitors about conditions they might encounter Quest for solitude Visitor behaviour Conflicting situations • • • • • • • Information providence Code of conduct Aktie Information providence Information providence Special trails for different activities Prohibiting activities like hunting B: Assessment of the PAN Parks Criteria and indicators Results of the assessment of the PAN Parks principles and criteria: Table 6.5 continued.5 and 6. 3.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Table 6.

e.6. which is also acknowledged by visitors. Now. The code of conduct is known and well controlled by the rangers.5 and 6. Carrying Capacity as a means to minimise impacts is not estimated. The most important impacts are those on trails and on vegetation. Management could try to get better grip on the visitors by information provision. This years’ counting can be a start. 52 . visitor impacts are accepted as a result of visitor use. The big difference between the core and buffer zone. stimulating visitation in other areas and other examples that are given in table 6.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks C: Conclusions and recommendations At this moment management has little to no control over visitor impacts in the park. The strong seasonality in the area leads to a short period in which the impacts are caused (i. There are no structured monitoring programmes and from all the possible measures only few are applied.WICE . There are no limits defined that indicate the extent to which the impacts are accepted and there are different zones a differentiated management approach. is a good occurrence. July and August).

Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 6. • Bivouacking is allowed at a one-hour walk from the entrance of the core zone. the interpretation trails. signposts are adapted to visitor needs (e.3).3.1 Target groups + 3.3 Recreation/ experience opportunities A: Analysis In the core zone of the park special facilities have been developed for different visitor activities.1 Activities for target groups 3. B: Assessment Results of the assessment of the PAN Parks criteria and indicators: Table 6. There are no artificial facilities but these are not needed for this experience.3. nails may not everywhere be put.4 opportunities to experience natural features 3.1. And the tent should not be put up before 19.3. Presentations are given and expositions can be visited. Results are not yet available (Nov 2001) Continuing improvement on the trails are made.1. behaviour.00 the next morning to minimise pressure on the vegetation.6 monitoring and improvement of quality of the activities 53 . + 3. 3. In the buffer zone different activities are offered. Rangers who are on surveillance in the park do the monitoring. This year for the first time visitor interviews have been conducted about these subjects. In some cases a segmentation is used in some of the other sectors • Visitors from proximity • Visitors from the côte d’azur • Nature oriented visitors (mountains) • Extreme experiences • Wintersports • Youth • Elderly In the visitor centres are hostesses present to provide the desired services.2 Services for target groups +/- 3. In the core zone of the park the information panels.5 monitoring of number of visitors. There is also control on these activities.g.3 wide spectrum of nature oriented experiences +/In the core zone of the Mercantour National Park nature based activities are the main product.WICE . clear colour that is easy to follow). There are limitations to experience the natural features of the area. The nature and diversity of the area create different opportunities. No interpretative (educational) materials to increase the visitor experience are available in the visitor centres. • Mountain climbing is allowed at special places.3.3. For other activities facilities are developed like signposts and indications of the time that it takes to get to certain points. Also certified guides can accompany visitors during their excursions. Flora and fauna and sportive activities can easily be practices in the core zone just as picnicking and bivouacking. A list of activities is included in the assessment of La Vésubie at the subject of Impact management (6. For high impact activities no facilities are available in the park. not on top of the mountain to disturb the wilderness experience.3.3. • Horse riding is only allowed on special trails • Mountain biking is not allowed in the core zone but there are some places where a road crosses the zone and here mountain biking is a possible activity.3 facilities for target groups +/+ + + 3.8: PAN Parks criteria assessment for La Vésubie on the subject of experience / recreation opportunities Visitor experiences/recreation opportunities Cr. satisfaction 3.00 hours and has to be packed before 09. the signs with time indication and distance to accommodation facilities. In this way use can be discouraged.

WICE . In the visitor impact model (VIM) for example different sub-units are identified in an area that correspond to distinct types of experiences (Graefe. Motorised sightseeing zone 6.and bufferzone. And the Visitor Activity and Recreation Programme (VERP) describes 9 different management zones based on recreational opportunities provided by the characteristics of the area: 1. Different management for each zone can lead to higher visitor satisfaction and better nature protection against visitor impacts 54 . the core. At the same time not signing a trail leads to fewer visitors on that trail which increases more the pure nature experiences and which also has a positive result on the pressure on nature.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks C: Conclusions and recommendations In the core zone of the park nature based activities are the attraction points. Hiker zone 3. Sensitive resource protection zone 9. The VERP system says about zoning that it prescribes the appropriate kinds and levels of activity. These differences are not documented and are not specified on the needs of different target groups. Primitive zone 5. For this reason they are assessed as +/-. Backcountry zone 4.10): ‘Different zones are described by different desired visitor experience opportunities and resource conditions that could be provided in a park’. The sector of La Vésubie does not have a zoning plan for the area where the natural characteristics are combined with the recreational opportunities. These 2 zones distinguish only to a limited extent among the range of different experiences possible in the area. Developed zone Mercantour National Park has identified only two zones. Semiprimitive motorised zone 8. Motorized rural zone 7. In the strategies that have been analysed in chapter 5 this type of zoning is always applied. 1992). In order to create a pure nature experience signs indicating the direction could be disturbing. The great difference in altitude provides a wide spectrum of different features and therefor of different recreation opportunities. development and management (Belnap 1997 p. This means that not signing a walking trail could lead to higher satisfaction for certain groups. Pedestrian zone 2.

Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 6. This is an example that shows the way of communicating about security in Mercantour.4 Risk Management A: Analysis There are different actors assuring safety in the mountains in and around Mercantour National Park. the park and the department. Providing information is the major task of tourist information centres. the difference between a sunny and a cloudy moment are huge and so is the difference between day and night. this is not communicated in the park itself. However. And the park provides information in the visitor centres. debrouillez vous”. Which means:’ the mountains are dangerous. Visitors should not continue when the situation becomes more difficult then their capability. Sudden weather changes occur regularly also in summer.WICE . save yourself’. at the entrances and by signposting in the park. Because of the differences in visitor characteristics the park’s attitude is not to communicate to leave all the responsibility at the visitor himself. The quality of the trails can be very low after a storm heavy rainfall. Signposts at all places in the park can make it seem very easy. they might destroy parts of the trail or increase its difficulty.9: Assessment possible risks in Mercantour-La Vésubie Possible risks causing conditions in La Vésubie Meteorological hazards Faunal hazards (sheepdog encounters) Topographic Hazards (steep terrain. besides it maintains the trails in the park. People must be prepared. The following table indicates the most important possible risks in Mercantour National Park and the measures that are taken to avoid accidents by the park and other organisations. inappropriate location) La Vésubie management actions to minimise risks Actions by other parties to minimise risks • Weather bulletin available at visitor • Meteo information about centers weather/snow conditions • Information brochure distributed in • Information brochure available at visitor center information points • Trail maintenance • Information panels about the hydraulic water works • Trail maintenance • Good maintenance of signs • Co-operation with department and Italian park 55 . There are many things done to avoid accidents in the mountains. Questions can always be asked at the visitor centres but it is not actively communicated. Table 6. Weather conditions can cause avalanches or landslides. The department maintains the trails and signposting in the buffer zone. The attitude towards visitor safety can be described as “les montagnes sont dangereuses. and provides information about the difficulty of the trails in the park. These are the risks of the mountains that are not communicated by the park management but require preparation from the visitors themselves. these are the tourist information centres. Snow conditions is communicated by the meteorological service and people can inform themselves when they enter the mountains. as something ordinary.1. A two hours walk indication can be misleading. Visitors should know how to read the map in order not to be surprised negatively when they walk in the mountains. mountain rescue. The mountain rescue team takes care of all injuries. This information can be obtained in all information centres. They must inform and train themselves before going to the mountains. landslides) Hydrologic hazards (cold deep water/thin ice) Trail hazards Sign hazards (defaced or weathered. This attitude is not a lack of willingness but reflects the responsibility of the visitors themselves. the area might be very steep and rocky and requires therefor more physical capability than a two and a half hours walk in another part of the park.

This is an example of a communicative approach towards visitor risks. Some warnings could be placed at the panels at the entrance and a reference to the visitor centres for more information could be made as a solution that serves both parties. Fortunately it has never happened that uncertainty about responsibilities has resulted in problems. In this way it is not the park’s responsibility. • Information panels (with map) at major entrances • Different brochures available at information points Actions by other parties to minimise risks • • Department trips indicates difficulty levels • Department informs about different activities • Mountain Rescue Service Availability B: Assessment of the PAN Parks Indicator Result of the assessment: Table 6. This is a graphical depiction of a shoe warning for suitable clothing and shoes and a second picture of mountains with threatening clouds saying: ‘Dangers in the mountains.9 continued. The PAN Parks philosophy is to communicate and to inform visitors. Nationalpark Hohe Tauern has included two symbols within their code of conduct for safety.10: PAN Parks criteria assessment for La Vésubie on the subject of visitor risks Risk Management Indicate safety regulations Monitoring and updating No active attitude towards communicating risks in the park. It is impossible to communicate all the dangers and to warn visitors for everything that can happen.WICE . not available. 56 .Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Table 6. PAN Parks requires an active approach and Parks Canada have developed a strategy on how to deal with visitor risks in a park. +/- C: Conclusions and recommendations The park’s philosophy about visitor safety can be defined as non-communication. The need for a strategy about this subject has never predominantly been present. not targeting proper clients. Possible risks causing conditions in La Vésubie Text hazards (not accurate. This strategy (VRM: Visitor Risk Management) can be used. not provided at proper stage of trip cycle. And fortunately accidents rarely happen. self reliance not (enough) promoted) Visitor Characteristic Hazards (mental/physical health /disability) La Vésubie management actions to minimise risks • • Indication of time to destination • Information panels communicating regulations at all entrances. Don’t underestimate them’.

The park promotes them in brochures and offers this as a service from the park. Other partnerships exist with guides who are certified by the park. This would lead to more integration of the local culture. + This subject can be improved.11: PAN Parks criteria assessment for La Vésubie on the subject of partnerships and co-operation PAN Parks Indicators 3. To support local associations the park advises to use certified guides who are member of a local association. For visitor management in the core zone the partnerships with guides are probably the most important. These expositions will transfer during the season to other visitor centres in the region. The interpretation plan covers the buffer zone. monitoring.2 Assessment of visitor management supporting subjects by PAN Parks criteria in La Vésubie This section deals with the subjects partnerships and co-operation. In the visitor centre of La Vésubie expositions will be held. There is not sufficiently dealt with the subject -There is not dealt with this subject 6. 57 .Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 6.3. These guides have to pass an exam and have to be member of the local guide association. The rating system used for all the assessments is similar to the previous assessments: ++ There should be continued in the way there is worked at the moment. The development of the Interpretation programmes in an example in which the park shows its interest in sustainable tourism development.8 proactive role in developing sustainable tourism + C: Conclusions and recommendations Partnerships that exist with local guide offices are a great success. for the guides (recommended in brochures from the park leads to more demand) and for the visitor (adaptation of excursion to the needs which leads to higher visitor satisfaction). sometimes about employment or use of facilities. B: assessment of the PAN Parks Indicators Results of the assessment of the PAN Parks criteria: Table 6. Even co-operation exists with the hunt association.7 describe existing and planned partnerships Situation La Vésubie Partnerships exist with communities and with regions. Sometimes these partnerships are about co-operation. associations and organisations. training programmes and financial management. The new projects that are being developed for the coming year are very promising.3.2.WICE . The certification has benefits for the park (provide extra service). The expositions will not only be park oriented but are developed together with local and regional artisans and museums. +/There is dealt with the situation but not all criteria are met in the way they should. Agreements about the number of animals for the hunt have to be made.1 Partnerships and co-operation A: Analysis The park strongly co-operates with national and international organisations and with local governments. This question is less relevant for the core zone of the park +/+ 3.

In chapter 4. There are (almost) no people living in the core zone of the park. • activities. These are long term projects and are mainly focussed on the buffer zone of the sector. 6.WICE .12: Elements of monitoring in La Vésubie Elements for monitoring Input for the visitor management process Visitor characteristics Situation in the core zone of sector La Vésubie in Mercantour National Park This year for the first time have surveys among visitors been conducted during the high season in all part of the park See Appendix B for example). • group composition (number of people. In this analysis only the core zone is analysed. profession. interpretation equipment for each sector. Cultural aspects should be monitored because changes in the core zone of the park might lead to changes in the buffer zone where many people have interest in tourism and recreational developments. This is an evaluation for Mercantour National Park and La Vésubie in particular.2 Monitoring A: Analysis There are many plans developed for the buffer zone of the park. At the moment this is not being developed for La Vésubie but for each sector such a plan will be developed in future. • transport (to region and to site). Cultural features Social features Economic features 58 . • accommodation.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks The management in Nice works on the sustainable development strategy (combined with the interpretation plan). Natural features Other monitoring programmes in the core zone of the park are scientific monitoring programmes about the number and types of different plant and animal species. ‘Rapport d’activité’ in which many elements are analysed like visitor frequentation. • length of stay. • information medium. Questions have been posed about: • the type of visitors (age. Visitor numbers have also been calculated at different points in the park.2. Fulfilment of the code of conduct is strictly controlled. • satisfaction and • knowledge about the code of conduct This information provides an important part of the input for visitor management.5 the elements that should be monitored are listed. The information was at the point of this report not yet available (Nov 2001). This is where the largest number of visitors are staying and where the impact on the local residents are the biggest. One of the tasks of the rangers is to monitor the situation. Research is also done on the subject of water pollution and waste treatment by visitor cabins inside the park boundaries. city of residence). family composition). infrastructure of reception and information. • motivation. Another analysis is done by the ministry of environment. Strange or ordinary things are directly noticed because the surveillance is intensive. Table 6.

Subjects are among others: decline of economic activities and employment. +/- + + 3. B: Assessment of the PAN Parks criteria and indicators Results of the assessment of the PAN Parks criteria: Table 6.5 Indicate how visitor behaviour and satisfaction are monitored 3. monitoring happens unstructured • The effects of management actions are monitored by rangers when they are on duty • Different national organisations do monitoring like the CRT (Comite regional du Tourisme Cote d’Azur) and the IRAP research and consultancy.4 Monitoring systematically training programmes + C: Conclusions and recommendations The park is working on obtaining information about its visitors.1.6 Monitoring of quality of services and visitor satisfaction Situation La Vésubie No visitor management present No visitor management present Visitor survey in appendix (See table for list of monitored elements) In core zone only few artificial facilities are available: Informal interviews from ranger additional to visitor surveys Satisfaction about certified guides and hostesses providing services can be written in a visitor book and after return from the excursion in the office.6.3.3. Start with relevant questions. Start with easy questions 2. No safety regulations are communicated. • All employees of National Parks have to follow one or two courses each year.WICE . elements of reflexion for tourism development in the buffer zone of Mercantour National park.4 Systematic monitoring and revision accordingly 3.for example if the respondent has been told that the survey is about holidays. There is a special catalogue of courses useful for all personnel working in natural areas.3.13: PAN Parks criteria assessment for La Vésubie on the subject of monitoring Criteria and indicators Cr 3.9 Monitoring of safety regulations concerning activities 3. There are for example no zoning plans. The structure of the survey however is missing certain elements to assess more detailed information. • The agreements that have been reached with the hunt associations are monitored.12 continued Monitoring processes • Interpretation • Impacts • Recreational experience/opportu nities • Visitor safety • Economic opportunities • Profile • Infrastructure • Training programme • Partnerships • Supporting existing operators • Visitor management approach in all strategies No real strategies exist that are monitored. Rangers on duty control visitor behaviour. • For all developments the possibilities of using local organisations are analysed All informational about recreational opportunities is known but there is written. In literature three basic principles about questionnaire ordering are emphasised (Veal 1997 p-181): 1. fulfilment of this task is monitored • Profit that is made on souvenirs are monitored to get an impression of visitor preferences and to increase income. and at the level of the sector there are no strategies. At least once a year one of these courses has to be followed.1 Monitoring effectiveness of visitor management plan 3.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Table 6. The visitor survey provided an impression of a range of subjects. start with some questions about holidays 59 .

Personal questions.WICE . The survey is not part of a monitoring plan with clear objectives. At meeting where all parties from the region are gathered (once a month) viewpoints are exchanged. It was incidental and the same survey that was used for other parks in France was also used for the survey in Mercantour National Park. However. The VERP system is an advocate of documenting the decision making thought process. none of this information is documented. Important sources for documenting the existing situation are the national research and consultancy firms. Input about the natural. cultural. dealing with such things as age or income are generally best left to near the end. Then they are less likely to cause offence. 60 . Their conclusions and recommendations are for example used in the interpretation and sustainable development plan for some of the sectors. social and economic features are not obtained by means of surveys. They have written development plans for the buffer zone. The logic of the questions (order and relevance) in the questionnaire is not always clear according to the surveyors (team 2001).Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 3.

Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 6.14: Course subjects for employees working in National Parks Course subjects • • • • • Administration and management Maintenance Communication and education Law and agents of nature Management of environment and species • • • • • Stakes and logic of actors Session New technologies Security Accompanying Some of these subjects cover visitor management elements. The offer is very diverse and deals with a range of subjects relevant to park managers as is described in this section. A few examples: • Animation in national Parks • Application of sustainable tourism • Getting to know the visitor: and then? • Fauna and human activities • Improving visitor reception All rangers may decide what subjects are of interest to them. Table 6.15: PAN Parks criteria assessment for La Vésubie on the subject of training programmes PAN Parks criteria Training programmes 3.6 the visitor management plan includes training programmes Presence Goals. On yearly basis External responsibility +/+ ++ ++ C: Conclusions and recommendations The training programmes for employees who work in natural areas are organised by the French ministry. methods and time schedule Regular assessment Systematical monitoring Training programmes are available for all employees Yes Training programmes are developed by an external organisation. published a catalogue in which almost 100 different courses are offered for people working in natural areas. 61 . targetgroups.2. B: Assessment of the PAN Parks criteria and indicators Results of the assessment of the PAN Parks indicators Table 6. The subjects are very diverse (L’atelier 2001).WICE .3 Training programmes A: Analysis Parcs Nationaux de France.

monitored. 62 . gifts) are small and will never be sufficient to cover the costs of visitor management. Largest amount is given by the ministry and the European Union. evaluated and adapted for further implementation. on biologist for research. on vets (for example to determine if sheep are killed by wild dogs or by wolves) and on communication programmes with inhabitants.2. The ministry and the department subsidise the largest part. Trail maintenance is essential but not the only element of importance.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 6. The visitor management plan will assure that there will be dealt with more diverse management subjects. Programme LIFE for example is a European programme for protection of the wolf. This amount of money has to be spend on refunding shepherds whose animals are taken by the wolves. For special projects special subsidies are available. C: Conclusions and recommendations Visitor management is a process. implemented.WICE . Other sources are special funds and European subsidies. like programme LIFE for example.4 Financial management A: Analysis There are different sources of income.3 A dequate resources Different types of resources. This means that strategies are continuously developed. Revenues from visitor expenditures (souvenirs. This means that yearly a budget should be available for visitor management because it does not stop after one year. B: Assessment PAN Parks indicator: Table 6.1. visitors and other interested.16: PAN Parks criteria assessment for La Vésubie on the subject of financial management 3.

This could be a good situation for impact management. but are unlikely to be a major drawcard (signage. • Infrastructure. The management in Nice very well takes care of profiling the park. 1999). • Infrastructure which acts as a drawcard to visitors by greatly enhancing the attractiveness of the area or the convenience of visiting an area (road sealing for example). The interpretation plans have strategic objectives like: • Creating a dynamic image of the mountain stations of Mercantour (special objective for winter sports) • Creating a sportive image for extreme experiences (for active and sportive visitors) • Diversification of the actual offer of experiences for children • Value the cultural and historic image of the mountains (senior visitors) These objectives are more focussed on the core zone of the area but they will affect visitation in the core zone. 6.3. Infrastructure in the park is very well organised.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 6. The management of La Vésubie should analyse the possibilities and opportunities that selective facility provision could have on the visitor frequentation and satisfaction and thus on the impacts and pressure on nature in those areas. the web-page informs about the different sectors and booklets can be bought in libraries providing information about all the specialities of the park.3 Additional visitor management subjects in La Vésubie 6. Promoting the area should be focussed on other periods of the year. pressure on that part of the park is very low. They argue that the presence of signs at all places in the park diminishes the experience and that it could encourage visitors who have not the condition or capability to go to certain destinations. Hall & McArthur 1998). Also the visitor risks created by poor infrastructure should be assessed.2 Infrastructure Piha Tourism distinguished two different categories of infrastructure. Improvement of the infrastructure could also lead to spreading visitation in the area and a decrease of pressure on other areas.1 Profile The interpretation plans that are being developed for each sector pay a lot of attention to the profiling of the area. They develop the communication strategy (internal and external) in which profiling is included (Plan de communication 1999-2003. There is a great amount of walking trails in the core zone of the park offering different visitor experiences. marked walking trails). it can be said that this sector has reached its maximum capacity during the months of August and September.WICE . Co-ordination of the profiling is of utmost importance because the sector of La Vesubie has to deal with enormous visitor numbers in high season. There is not yet such a plan for the sector of La Vésubie.3. Conclusions and recommendations: Infrastructure is an important means of guiding visitor flows. Difficult accessibility or scarce signposts discourage certain types of visitors (McCool 1987. Conclusions and recommendations: Profiling of the area is done by the headquarter in Nice. Some of the park entrances can hardly be accessed. Although it is not calculated. 63 . According to some it is even over organised. which enhances the convenience or the quality of the visitor experience once there. For each zone brochures have been developed. The road is very muddy and there are no signs that indicate that one is on the right track.

The PAN Parks principles and criteria are not prescriptive but require a sustainable and structured management approach.1. Results of the assessment of the PAN Parks criteria: Table 6.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 6. For La Vésubie no visitor management plan is developed but many of the visitor management subjects are dealt with to some extent. There is dealt with the situation but not all criteria are met in the way they should. The way in which they are developing is structural.5 The interpretation and sustainable development programme. 64 . However some points need further attention. Points of attention related to the visitor management philosophy are the interpretation programme and the zoning system. (see also Interpretation 6. Is an active approach towards sustainable tourism. This assures proper implementation of strategies. This subject can be improved. It is important that the sector thinks about their target groups and define groups in such a way that visitor management can be applied effectively.WICE .1. Not all available means are used to create understanding and support. +/- Partnerships Active role in sustainable tourism strategy Creating understanding and support for conservation goals ++ + +/-- Only the difference between the core and buffer zone In the interpretation programmes that have been developed target groups have been defined: • Visitors from proximity • Visitors from the côte d’azur • Nature oriented visitors (mountains) • Extreme experiences • Wintersports • Youth • Elderly See 6.1) + + + - There should be continued in the way there is worked at the moment. Not all elements are worked out. There is not sufficiently dealt with the subject There is not dealt with this subject Conclusions The management in Nice is working on developing a visitor management plan. This means that not all questions can be answered. Different subjects of which for some structures have been developed.4 Evaluation of the PAN Parks visitor management philosophy in La Vésubie It is very important that there is a clearly defined visitor management approach.17: PAN Parks criteria assessment for La Vésubie on the subject of visitor management philosophy PAN Parks philosophy Presence of visitor management plan Long and short term goals of visitor management plan Systematic monitoring and revision of visitor management plan Zoning system Different target groups Situation La Vésubie Not a coherent plan available. La Vesubie does not yet have a visitor management plan and thus can be recommended to use the literature and the PAN Parks criteria for development of it. These subjects are thoroughly dealt with in the previous sections. The segmentation that is used for other parks might not be even effective for other zones.

This means that certain elements have to be included. The output exists of visitor satisfaction and of maintenance/improvement of the regional environment. In order to realise this the visitor management process has to run.1. cultural. 7. second. the local economy can be stimulated by visitor expenditures and increasing employment opportunities ageing of the population can be prevented.1 Conclusions: The different elements of research will individually be concluded. Local involvement integrated in process 4. This has been concretised in 4 elements: 1. Cause solving 3.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 7 Conclusions and recommendations This chapter summarises the conclusions that are drawn after the different elements of research for this report. recommendations based on the conclusions are made. 7. and monitoring and evaluation. goals and objective setting. This plan is developed according to the PAN Parks criteria and indicators of which some have already been mentioned. environmental and visitor oriented PAN Parks further suggests a visitor-oriented approach. Chapter 3 also deals with the structure of a visitor management plan. analysing and documenting. developments should be sustainable. This growth has both negative as well as positive results for the destination and its environment. Because of these benefits for the visitor as well as for the other parties. First conclusions are drawn. The different visitor management subjects all must have a structure that includes at least a goal and objectives 65 . The principles that are defined by McCool (1996) provide a realistic insight on visitor management. Based on the PAN Parks criteria and indicators and literature research for visitor management the visitor management philosophy is explained.1 Introduction and background of the study Because of the increasing demand to nature oriented recreation/tourism destinations. When living up to the criteria and indicators the park is believed to have good management practices and the PAN Parks certification can be obtained. visitor management is a process with input and output. These are. By offering high quality nature based experiences to visitors visitor awareness can be created which should contribute positively to nature conservation. facilities and activities have to be developed for different target groups in order to increase visitor satisfaction about the experience. The PAN Parks criteria prescribe a structured strategy. Re-active approach – Future oriented 2. Monitoring the needs of different groups becomes very important. Beyond nature orientation: social. strategic plan. The input exists of all information about the visitors and the park and its environment. These eleven principles have resulted from research on visitor impacts and growing interest to be involved in the decision making process and are advised to be acknowledged. economic.2 The concept of visitor management As chapter 3 has made clear. Because visitor management is not applied in all National Parks in Europe (PAN Parks self-assessment results) background information on what visitor management is and how it can be applied is given.1. The PAN Parks project is a tourism/recreation project. This means that services. 7. financial resources. Visitor management plays an important role in the park’s overall management to maximise the positive results and to minimise the negative ones. National Parks have to deal with more and more visitors each year.WICE . The aim of the PAN Parks project is to stimulate park management in European National Parks to work towards a desired situation.

5.2 Cr 3. as visitors are demanding more environmentally responsive services.4. 1996). 66 . and a monitoring and evaluation element.WICE .1.1: Relationship between the visitor management subjects Monitoring ‘Supporting’ subjects • Training programme • Partnerships and co-operation • Financial management ‘Core’ subjects • • • • • • Interpretation Minimising impacts Visitor experiences/recreation opportunities Visitor safety Profile Infrastructure Evaluation Further subject related requirements have been explained in Chapter 4 in which each visitor management subject is explained separately and is supported with relevant literature or case study examples.5.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks setting.1) 3.5.3. Ten visitor management subjects have been defined and are related to each other as is visualised in figure 7.3 Visitor management elements Interpretation: Different PAN Parks criteria and indicators are defined about this subject: I.2 3.4 (3. Figure 7. meanings and the interrelationship between natural phenomena. 3. 3. 3. The need for interpretation increases.3 Cr 3.4.3.4) Interpretation programmes for different target groups Create understanding and support for conservation goals Different messages and techniques for target groups Communication of code of conduct Visitor centres • Availability and accessibility of information • All year • Visitor centre target groups • In English and relevant languages The literature analysis on this subject resulted that interpretation is more then information providence but reveals concepts.4. (I 3. They want to learn and understand the connections with a broader environment (Black 1998).2.1. Interpretation educates the visitor about his environment and ensures visitors to have a nature experience (CeballosLascurain. Hall and McArthur (1998) indicate that objectives of good interpretation are multiple but fail to reach its full potential.5. 3. products and information. 7.5 .1.

Understanding and Emotions. In some countries managing risks is a legislative obligation (Parks Canada). 3. time period The literature review of this subject has resulted in additional advisable requirements: • Structured analysis of impacts by categorisation made by Gyongo et al (1993) • Different measures to avoid negative impacts (Cole 1987.2 I. 3. Inspiring. VERP should be considered as well.3. Morrison.3. Mazursky’s model of experience explains that visitor satisfaction is dependent on the expectations of the visitor (Mazursky in Beunders and Boers 1996). VIM. 3. McCool 1989) • Recognise principles of visitor management defined by McCool (1989) • Carrying capacity as an intitial concept is somewhat limited in guiding visitor management planning.3.3 I. Parks Canada has developed a Visitor Risk Management handbook that intends to help managers to develop a consistent set of guidelines to manage visitor risks (Parks Canada).4 I. Communication is an important aspect of this element.23.3. These experiences should be specified on different target groups (Mill. Strategy frameworks such as LAC. 1992) because not all visitors need the same type of experience. Cr. 3.9 Safety regulations concerning activities and the use of facilities Monitoring and updating 67 .1 I.13.3 I. 3.3.WICE . Hall & McArthur 1993) • Decide whether change is a real damage or an inevitable consequence of human use (Wight 1998. allowed activities.2 Visitor management safeguards the natural values Carrying Capacity is assessed Measures to avoid negative impact: Zoning: access.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Minimising Impacts The PAN Parks principles and criteria are not very prescriptive for this subject. (Quinion 1986 & Schouten 1995 in Schouten 1999). Quality. In order to realise this visitors should be offered an experience that contains the UNIQUE elements: Uncommon. Cr. Novelty. Visitor experience/recreation opportunities. 3.6 Wide spectrum of experiences Activity services and facilities for different target groups Opportunities to observe natural features Monitoring visitor behaviour and satisfaction Visitor oriented facilities (quality) Risk management Accidents can happen but some accidents can be prevented. 3.2.2. 3. This underlines the strong relationship with the visitor management subject ‘Profiling’.3. What are the responsibilities of managers for risk management? This is a subject that needs to be considered further by many parks.3. 3. facilities-services-activities PAN Parks requires high quality nature based experiences to assure visitor satisfaction. For parks willing to obtain the PAN Parks certification only one indicator has been defined resulting in two key words I.5 I.

4 Regular monitoring and updating of all elements of the visitor management plan explicitly mentioned are: • Effects of visitor management actions • Number of visitors • Type of visitors • Use of facilities services and activities • Visitor satisfaction • Visitor safety regulation • Training programme • Trends and developments Take actions based on obtained information and evaluate progress Partnerships and co-operation The definition of the WTO (1998) makes clear that partnerships and co-operation are essential elements of sustainable development.2 Goals. I3. These are questions such as “Have the right decisions been taken?” PAN Parks recognises the importance of monitoring and has included many criteria and indicators about this subject.WICE .6. Partnerships can be established for different subjects of the visitor management elements.3.9. 3. I3.3. 3.1 Available I 3. I3.6.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Monitoring For all the decisions taken in the visitor management process background information is necessary.5. Important is the knowledge managers and/or rangers have on the various subjects of visitor management. target groups. methods and time schedule I 3.6 Training programme is element of visitor management I 3.4 Monitoring and revision 68 . A third element is that of monitoring and evaluation of the overall management plan. I3.6.3.7 I3. Cr. Cr. This subject is part of the visitor management philosophy.6.4.3 Training need assessment I 3.3. The effects of the management actions have to be monitored as well. This type of information is described as the basic input information necessary for developing a visitor management strategy. For the visitor experience a visitor oriented attitude from personnel. Knowledge must be monitored and training programmes can be developed accordingly.3. services and activities are offered are very important to the satisfaction level.6.6. I3. the way in which facilities. The information about the visitors and the environment forms the basis for all different subjects for which goals and objectives must be set for management.1.1 I3.8 Co-operation with local actors Establishment of relationships Proactive attitude towards sustainable tourism strategy Training programmes: The need for training programmes varies from park to park.

The possibilities to increase visitor satisfaction and minimise negative impacts caused by visitors are multiple.WICE .C. McArthur 1998) and appropriate expectations can be created in the minds of the visitor that leads to an increase of visitor satisfaction (Mazursky in Beunders &Boers).4 Visitor management strategies Different strategies have been developed that deal with visitor management subjects that have been described above. West Coast Visitor Strategy. Hall. The following strategies have been discussed.3 Adequate resources for implementation of visitor management plan available Profile and infrastructure These two subjects are not included in the PAN Parks criteria and indicators. 7.1. it is about creating an image and expectations. thus a line item should be included in the annual budget. Profiling the area is about presenting the park in visitor information. The sole PAN Parks indicator referring to budget/financial related aspect is the availability of resources.1. Obviously visitor management subjects vary in priority and importance and therefore annual budget funds should be allocated accordingly. These elements appeared in visitor management plans from other national parks (The Nut State Reserve. LAC Integrated systems VAMP VIM VERP TOMM • ROS 69 . By doing this visitor flows can be controlled (Cole 1987. For example by making access to problem areas more difficult and/or improve access to alternative locations (Cole 1987) or by encouraging/discouraging use by selective service providence (many signs or the opposite: no signs).1: Overview of different visitor management strategies Abbreviation VRM CC LAC ROS VIM VERP VAMP TOMM Strategies Visitor Risk Management Carrying Capacity Limits of Acceptable Change Recreation Opportunity Spectrum Visitor Impact Management (National Parks and Conservation Association) Visitor Experience and Resource Protection (National Parks Service) Visitor Activity Management (Parks Canada) Tourism Optimisation Management Model In conclusion it can be said that the latest strategies are integrated systems that combine ecological and visitor oriented approaches. Visitor management is an ongoing process. I3. Table 7. Infrastructure can be used as a means to differentiate in service provision which leads to the desired outcomes. Norfolk coast AONB). Figure 7.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Financial management Expenditures and revenues must balance.2: Integrated visitor management strategies Ecological oriented • Visitor oriented • C.

Interpretation does not increase understanding and support Visitor centre is only opened in high season which makes information hard to access (apart from interpretation panels and trails in the park) No impacts assessment or strategy that deals with managing impacts Few different measures are used to minimise impacts No limits of acceptable change have been defined (nor Carrying capacity levels).3): Table 7. no indicators have been identified In core zone visitor experiences are nature based No zoning system is applied Good opportunities to experience wildlife Mercantour has a non-communicating attitude towards visitor risks The input of visitor management is being monitored: Visitor surveys have been conducted this year.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks The integrated systems all deal with the subjects that are mentioned in the PAN Parks criteria.3: Overview of recommendations for Mercantour-La Vésubie Interpretation: information. This result means that the PAN Parks criteria and indicators are very specified and that the systems are very similar to each other.2: Overview of visitor management subjects that are covered by the different strategies VIM x VERP x VAMP x TOMM x VRM x PAN Parks visitor management Approach Interpretation x x x x Minimising x x x x impacts Visitor experience/ x x x x recreation opportunities Training i i i i Programmes Monitoring x x x x Partnerships x x x x Safety i: Indirect relation x: positive result. and in the park and its entrances this could be further developed. National and departmental organisations monitor the existing situation. education • • • The possibilities and opportunities interpretation makes possible are not used optimally. in the brochures. a two-month fieldwork has lead to the following results (table 7.1. the strategy dealt sufficiently with the subject i x x No symbol: Not relevant 7. These four systems can be advised to park management if it needs to improve (or develop) their strategy on the subjects that the strategy deals with. Rangers monitor while on duty and special researches are conducted on specific subjects. facilities and activities. No visitor segmentation is used to differentiate services.5 Mercantour National Park To assist Mercantour National Park in France with their visitor management assessment of the different subjects. In the visitor centres. These deal with various subjects. No systematic monitoring programme is available for visitor management subjects The park has an active approach towards co-operation Different partnerships exist • • • Impact management • • • Visitor experience/recreation opportunities • Risk management • • • • • Monitoring Partnerships and co-operation 70 . Table 7.WICE .

sector of Mercantour National Park.3 continued.WICE . Training programmes • • • • • • • • • Training programmes are available for all employees on yearly basis A wide range of topics is offered Training needs are not assessed The park has different financial resources A yearly budget should be spent on visitor management External happens from the headquarters in Nice Has to be communicated with the sector to utilise the opportunities The current situation offers possibilities which need further analysis Infrastructure in the park is very well developed Financial management Profile Infrastructure Conclusion of the evaluation of the PAN Parks criteria and indicator assessment for the core zone of La Vésubie.4: Conclusions of assessment different visitor management subjects Visitor management subject Interpretation Minimising impacts Visitor experience/ recreation opportunities Training Programmes Monitoring Partnerships Safety Financial management Profile Infrastructure Meets PAN Parks criteria Needs further development to meet PAN Parks criteria x x x x x x x x x x 71 .Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks Table 7. Table 7.

• Relation with impact management and visitor experience and recreation opportunities to integrate management actions for these subjects Minimising impacts X Visitor experience/ recreation opportunities Monitoring Safety Infrastructure X X X This table shows the integration of literature and the existing situation in La Vésubie Mercantour. the structure and the different subjects also provides recommendations for managers. the PAN Parks criteria and the structure of this report provide a self-assessment tool.Wageningen University Visitor Management PAN Parks 7. it identifies problem areas as well as examples on how to deal with the situation. The structure of this report provides a monitoring tool for evaluation and development of visitor management that meets the PAN Parks requirements. The literature that describes the visitor management philosophy. VERP. Bosco-Nizeye. 72 . This means that the results reported in the previous chapters are recommendations for park managers on how to apply visitor management effectively. The Nut State Reserve Tasmania.2 Recommendations The research question for this report was: 'How to interpret the PAN Parks criteria and indicators for visitor management in order to advise park managers how to optimise visitor management activities in National Parks in Europe'. the Norfolk Coast AONB UK and the Waitakere City Council Visitor Strategy for the West Coast UK. Wallace 1993 Hall and Mc Arthur 1993 1998 Quinion. By doing so the certification process can start sooner. Partially solutions can be found by using the different existing visitor management strategies like VIM. An integration of literature and the analysis is shown in table 7.WICE . The combination of the literature. VAMP and TOMM but not all visitor management subjects are covered by these systems.5: Integration of literature and self-assessment Visitor management subject that need further development to meet PAN Parks criteria Interpretation Strategies that can be used: Other sources used for visitor management subjects VIM / VERP / VAMP / TOMM X VRM • • • • • • • • • • • • • • McArthur 1998 Hall.5. Table 7. When the PAN Parks criteria and the literature study are used to analyse the situation. 1986 Schouten 1995 Mazursky (in Beunders and Boers 1996) McCool 1996 VRM plan Parks Canada Case study examples: The Tioram Castle Conservation Project Scottish Highland. Additional literature and researches and case study examples provide a substantial part of information on which well-founded decisions can be taken. McArthur 1998 Lascurain 1998 Black 1998 McCool 1989 Wight 1998 Berle 1990 Giongo. The case study that was executed in Mercantour National Park was meant to clarify the concept of visitor management and was meant as a service that was provided by the PAN Parks organisation to assist an interested park in the perfection of their management (living up to the principles and criteria).

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