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Gewählte Publikation:

Taczanowska, K; Gonzalez, LM; Garcia-Masso, X; Zieba, A; Brandenburg, C; Muhar, A; Pellicer-Chenoll, M; Toca-Herrera, JL.
(2019): Nature-based Tourism or Mass Tourism in Nature? Segmentation of Mountain Protected Area Visitors Using Self-Organizing Maps (SOM)
SUSTAINABILITY-BASEL. 2019; 11(5), 1314 FullText FullText_BOKU

Mountain protected areas play a fundamental role in the conservation of natural environment and at the same time provide the population with social benefits such as offering space for leisure and recreation. Understanding motivations and behavior of protected area visitors is crucial to effectively manage vulnerable areas. Our objective was to identify the profiles of visitors to a heavily used tourist destination-Kasprowy Wierch within the Tatra National Park (Poland), using the self-organizing maps (SOM) analytical method. In order to explore the socio-demographic and behavioral characteristics of the visitors a total sample of 2488 respondents were interviewed on site. Self-organizing map analysis is based on cerebral processes for managing and storing information in order to classify subjects and/or find relationships among variables. As a result, four heterogeneous tourist profiles were identified. Interestingly, two of these groups (Cluster 1 and Cluster 3), which were found to be the most challenging groups for management purposes, visited the national park for reasons other than its natural attractions. Especially, one sub-segment of Cluster 3 was mainly motivated by the possibility to use a cable car, admiring views and stayed within close proximity of the upper cable car station. Less than a half of visitors to Kasprowy Wierch (42%) were seeking a nature experience during their trip (Cluster 2 and Cluster 4). The results bring a new point of view in the discussion on visitor management within Kasprowy Wierch region, in particular by overlapping presented visitor segmentation with trip types and/or purchased cable car tickets. Within international context, we highlight the SOM technique as a valuable tool in profiling of tourists and underline the problem of the existence of mass tourism destinations within protected areas.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Brandenburg Christiane
Muhar Andreas
Taczanowska Karolina
Toca-Herrera José Luis

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
sustainable tourism
nature-based tourism
conservation tourism
self-organizing maps (SOM)
social marketing
visitor segmentation
Tatra National Park
protected areas
cable car

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