Exploring the Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Visitor Flows in Seoraksan National Park using GPS-based Smart Phone Application

Authors: Jinwon Kim*, University of Florida, Brijesh Thapa, University of Florida, Eunjung Yang, University of Florida
Topics: Tourism Geography, Recreational and Sport Geography, Temporal GIS
Keywords: Spatio-temporal patterns, visitor flows, GPS, smart phone application, national park
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Mid-City, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

National parks are major tourist attractions that receive substantial volume of visitors. While some parks are more heavily visited than others, however trends indicate a global growth in visitation. With an influx of current and potential visitors, park managers are faced with challenges to sustainably maintain the natural and cultural resources as well as provide settings to optimize experiences. Hence, understanding the spatio-temporal patterns of visitor flows is essential. The purpose of this study is to explore the spatio-temporal patterns of visitor flows at Seoraksan National Park in South Korea. Data were compiled from BEAGLE, a Korean technology-oriented outdoor service company that develops GPS navigation software. A total of 2,571 individuals along with their 5,142 GPS activity data were collected in 2015. GIS mapping in combination with spatial data analysis were employed to explore the spatial and temporal patterns of visitor flows within the park. Results identified the peak visitor flow was between the months of September – November, with the highest density observed during the afternoons on weekends (12:00 pm to 17:59 pm). Findings also indicated that the spatial patterns of visitor flows were highly dependent on the mountain trail network and other facilities such as, campground, information center, observatory and historic/heritage sites. Findings from this study suggest practical implications for crowd control that is a prerequisite for effective visitor experience management in protected areas within a mountain ecosystem.

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