Publication Details

A comparison of tourists and local visitors to National Estuarine Research Reserve sites

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Marsinko, Allan; Norman, William C.; McClinton, Tiffany J.

Year Published

2001

Publication

In: Kyle, Gerard, comp., ed. 2001. Proceedings of the 2000 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-276. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 83-88

Abstract

The National Estuarine Research Reserve system serves as a laboratory and classroom where the effects of both natural and human activity can be monitored and studied. Visitors to twelve National Estuarine Research Reserve system sites were surveyed to obtain information about demographics, participation, experience with the system, activities, and opinions. Comparisons were made between local respondents and tourists based on distance traveled to the sites. About 26% of the respondents were tourists. Almost all of the respondents were white, non-Hispanic and most were female with females slightly more prevalent in the local group. Tourists were slightly younger than locals and were more likely to work full time. About 48% of the tourists attended graduate school versus 35% of the local respondents. Tourists visited the sites less frequently but spent more time per visit and spent more time at the site per year. The study sites were the primary destination for 66% of the locals and only 19% of the tourists, indicating that tourists were on multipurpose trips. Although more tourists (9%) made the decision to visit the site at least three months in advance (versus 3.2% of locals), 33% decided to visit the site on the day of the visit (versus 28% of locals). In general, levels of satisfaction with the sites and likelihood of future visits were similar for both groups. Interest in education program topics was similar between groups except that tourists were significantly more interested in environmental issues and environmental ethics. Both groups considered it important to understand nature and the role of wildlife. Tourists placed significantly greater importance on the role played by wildlife and the existence of wildlife. Neither group placed much importance on hunting or trapping wildlife. Activities were similar between groups except that tourists were more likely to take photos, beach comb, swim, and bike, while locals were more likely to canoe and be involved with organized group programs. Both groups observed the same animals but tourists were more likely to observe marine mammals.

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Citation

Marsinko, Allan; Norman, William C.; McClinton, Tiffany J. 2001. A comparison of tourists and local visitors to National Estuarine Research Reserve sites. In: Kyle, Gerard, comp., ed. 2001. Proceedings of the 2000 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-276. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 83-88

Last updated on: March 27, 2007