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Sources of Visitor Information at United States National Parks

Authors: Michael Pretes*, University of North Alabama
Topics: Tourism Geography, Recreational and Sport Geography, United States
Keywords: national parks, visitors, tourism, Great Basin, Nevada, United States
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: Download

Visitors to national parks derive information about what and where to visit from a variety of sources, including guidebooks, visitors centers, brochures, and—increasingly—from social media and online sources. Is social media becoming the most important source of information for park visitors? What implications do shifts in information sources have for park managers? This study investigates how tourists acquire and use information about national parks and park activities, focusing in particular on Great Basin National Park in Nevada. This site was selected because of its remoteness, meaning that visitors do not casually visit without advanced planning. Using both field interviews with park staff as well as online surveys, results suggest that though social media is becoming an important source of park information, visitor centers and park rangers are still the primary source of park information for most visitors.

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