BOKU - Universität für Bodenkultur Wien - Forschungsinformationssystem

Logo BOKU-Forschungsportal

Gewählte Publikation:

Ciesielski, M; Tkaczyk, M; Hycza, T; Taczanowska, K.
(2023): Was it really different? COVID-19-pandemic period in long-term recreation monitoring-A case study from Polish forests
J OUTDOOR REC TOUR. 2023; 41, 100495 FullText FullText_BOKU

The COVID-19 pandemic posed serious challenge for securing public health worldwide. Public health pre-paredness and restrictions put in place impacted many aspects of human life, including recreational activities and access to outdoor recreational destinations. Green spaces have become one of the few sources of resilience during the coronavirus crisis due to their restorative effects on psychophysical health and community well-being. The aim of this study is to analyse the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on forest visitation. The results are based upon long-term visitor data acquired via pyroelectric sensors (Eco-Counter) in three forest districts located in Poland (Browsk, Gdansk & Kozienice Forest Districts). The analysis covers the period between January 01, 2019 and December 31, 2020 and the results confirm changes in recreational use in the studied forest areas during the pandemic compared to the preceding year. However, observed changes in forest visitation vary by pandemic period and study area. The ban on access to forest areas significantly reduced the number of forest visits in all studied areas. The number of visits to sub-urban forests (Gdansk Forest District) and to remote nature-based tourist destinations (Browsk Forest District) increased in the later pandemic periods, especially in the summer months of 2020, while it remained the same in a popular nearby recreation area: Kozienice Forest District. There were only minor temporal shifts in the distribution of weekly and daily visits. The results are important for public health preparedness planning in crisis situations and for provisioning conditions supporting societal health and well-being. Objective data on forest visits are necessary for successful management of forest areas and sur-rounding amenities. More cross-sector collaboration and public participation would be desirable to create sus-tainable, resilient, and liveable spaces for the society. Management Implications: center dot Long-term visitation monitoring is crucial for successful management of outdoor recreation des-tinations and their catchment areas. center dot Objective numbers concerning forest visitation from the pre-pandemic and COVID-19 pandemic period allow observing trends and making fact-based management decisions during period of crisis. center dot Changes in the investigated three forest study areas in Poland were not homogenous, which implies the necessity of systematic visitor monitoring in multiple destinations, in order to cover different types of forest areas and also local diversity in recreational use. center dot More intersectoral, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary exchange would be desirable to better integrate existing on-site visitor monitoring data into decision making processes related to forest management, urban planning, transportation, tourism and public health.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Taczanowska Karolina

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
COVID-19 response policies
Forest visitation
Visitor monitoring

© BOKU Wien Impressum