Geografie 2018, 123, 461-478

Visitor profiling using characteristics of socio-demographic and spatial behavior as tools to support the management of protected mountain areas

Juraj Švajda1, Matej Masný1, Samuel Koróny1, Adalbert Mezei2, Ivo Machar3, Karolina Taczanowska4

1Matej Bel University (MBU), Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
2Low Tatras National Park Administration, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
3Palacký University, Olomouc, Czechia
4University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria

Received February 2018
Accepted November 2018

Protected mountain areas are attractive tourist destinations, and the number of visitors to these areas is increasing. The extension of cable car operations into the summer season is a challenge for some protected areas. Our study focuses on visitor profiles and is based on the characteristics of socio-demographic and spatial behavior of cable car users of the Chopok area (Slovakia). The methods used involve recording visitors’ itineraries through the use of GPS loggers and conducting post-trip interviews with the study participants. In order to better understand visitors’ spatial behavior, the relationship between socio-demographic characteristics and trip itinerary parameters was analyzed. Additionally, three distinct visitor profiles based on cluster analysis were found in the investigated sample. The results can be used to enrich our knowledge concerning the spatial behavior of tourists in mountain environments, and more directly, for the management of cable car destinations located within protected areas.


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