Monitoring of Visitors as a Tool of Protected Areas Management

Stanislava Pachrová, Petr Chalupa, Eva Janoušková, Alice Šedivá Neckářová, Leoš Štefka

Abstract


This article reviews the possibilities of using visitor monitoring in the management of a protected area in the example of the Moravian Karst Protected Landscape Area (pla). The Moravian Karst is the largest and most significant karst area in the Czech Republic. Its location near a large city and its easy accessibility mean that some of the pla’s parts are faced with the negative impacts of overly intensive tourism on rare natural sites and protected species. While the presence of visitors in a protected area is desirable, it is necessary to regulate their activities in the area. The pla management needs quality information for its decision making, such as on the current characteristics and behaviour of visitors. To obtain this information, primary marketing research was carried out at selected pla sites from May to September 2018. A questionnaire survey was used to obtain data from 2,100 visitors and to define the Moravian Karst visitor profile. We found that most visitors were attracted to caves open to the public and the Macocha gorge and that almost a quarter of respondents were planning to return to the pla within six months of questioning. A major challenge for the sustainable development of tourism in the area will be the fact that visitors to the caves are not interested in visiting other localities in the pla. The data obtained about visitors will be used by the pla management to formulate measures to redirect visitors from the most-visited locations to the less-visited ones.

Keywords: sustainable tourism, marketing research, visitor profile, destination management, protected landscape area, Moravian Karst


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