Lakes provide many opportunities for outdoor recreation and tourism, but growing visitor numbers and global changes increase negative effects on recreational values and environmental impacts requiring targeted management strategies. Since there is a lack of information about visitors and their preferences related to natural mountain lakes, this study aimed at assessing people's preferences with a focus on recreational activities, accessibility, and touristic facilities. We collected 526 responses through an online survey and identified recreational visitor groups using cluster analysis. Our results indicate that mountain lakes are mostly valued for passive recreation such as nature observation and relaxation, while recreational activities such as boating or having a barbecue were less often associated with a visit to mountain lakes. Respondents mostly valued hiking/walking trails along the lakeshore as well as direct access to the lake, while they indicated less often the importance of playgrounds and water sports facilities. We identified two major visitor groups: (1) nature-oriented visitors, preferring pristine and remote mountain lakes, and (2) leisure-oriented visitors, favouring mountain lakes that were easily accessible and developed for tourism. Accordingly, the latter group valued most recreational activities at lakes such as reading/listening to music or having a picnic higher. Although there is potential for conflicts between these two visitor groups, the presence of lakes with different level of accessibility may defuse such conflicts. Our findings provide valuable insights for developing targeted management strategies based on the preferences of different visitor groups. Management implications: Mountain lakes are associated with high recreational values. Maintaining marked hiking trails is essential to provide access, but the construction of tourist facilities needs to be cautiously evaluated, as this can cause a change in the type of visitors with possible negative consequences. The results of the survey also indicate diverging preferences between two major visitor types. Improved and easily accessible tourist facilities at mountain lakes support more recreational uses and may attract leisure-oriented visitors. In contrast, recreational values of nature-oriented visitors could be maintained by preserving the naturalness of remote lakes and not improving accessibility.

Recreational ecosystem services of mountain lakes in the European Alps: Preferences, visitor groups and management implications / Schirpke, U.; Scolozzi, R.; Kiessling, A.; Tappeiner, U.. - In: JOURNAL OF OUTDOOR RECREATION AND TOURISM. - ISSN 2213-0780. - ELETTRONICO. - 35:(2021), p. 100421. [10.1016/j.jort.2021.100421]

Recreational ecosystem services of mountain lakes in the European Alps: Preferences, visitor groups and management implications

Scolozzi R.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Lakes provide many opportunities for outdoor recreation and tourism, but growing visitor numbers and global changes increase negative effects on recreational values and environmental impacts requiring targeted management strategies. Since there is a lack of information about visitors and their preferences related to natural mountain lakes, this study aimed at assessing people's preferences with a focus on recreational activities, accessibility, and touristic facilities. We collected 526 responses through an online survey and identified recreational visitor groups using cluster analysis. Our results indicate that mountain lakes are mostly valued for passive recreation such as nature observation and relaxation, while recreational activities such as boating or having a barbecue were less often associated with a visit to mountain lakes. Respondents mostly valued hiking/walking trails along the lakeshore as well as direct access to the lake, while they indicated less often the importance of playgrounds and water sports facilities. We identified two major visitor groups: (1) nature-oriented visitors, preferring pristine and remote mountain lakes, and (2) leisure-oriented visitors, favouring mountain lakes that were easily accessible and developed for tourism. Accordingly, the latter group valued most recreational activities at lakes such as reading/listening to music or having a picnic higher. Although there is potential for conflicts between these two visitor groups, the presence of lakes with different level of accessibility may defuse such conflicts. Our findings provide valuable insights for developing targeted management strategies based on the preferences of different visitor groups. Management implications: Mountain lakes are associated with high recreational values. Maintaining marked hiking trails is essential to provide access, but the construction of tourist facilities needs to be cautiously evaluated, as this can cause a change in the type of visitors with possible negative consequences. The results of the survey also indicate diverging preferences between two major visitor types. Improved and easily accessible tourist facilities at mountain lakes support more recreational uses and may attract leisure-oriented visitors. In contrast, recreational values of nature-oriented visitors could be maintained by preserving the naturalness of remote lakes and not improving accessibility.
2021
Schirpke, U.; Scolozzi, R.; Kiessling, A.; Tappeiner, U.
Recreational ecosystem services of mountain lakes in the European Alps: Preferences, visitor groups and management implications / Schirpke, U.; Scolozzi, R.; Kiessling, A.; Tappeiner, U.. - In: JOURNAL OF OUTDOOR RECREATION AND TOURISM. - ISSN 2213-0780. - ELETTRONICO. - 35:(2021), p. 100421. [10.1016/j.jort.2021.100421]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/320540
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