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Visitor data needs of protected area agencies

Griffin, T., Darcy, S., Moore, S. and Crilley, G. (2009) Visitor data needs of protected area agencies. In: Australian Protected Areas Congress, Protected areas in the century of change, 24 - 28 November, 2008, Twin Waters, Queensland pp. 146-148.

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This paper reports on the results of a major study on the needs of Australian protected area agencies in relation to visitor data. The overall aims were to improve data collection, management and use within protected area agencies, and to develop nationally consistent approaches to visitor data where appropriate. The study involved a comprehensive review of current practices in every agency within Australia. The review engaged with staff at all levels from heads of agency to individual park managers. The outcomes included the identification of: key visitor data needs at various management levels of the agencies; areas where current data collection, use and management practices needed to be improved; and significant gaps in current data collections. From this, a list of key data needs was generated, with some being designated as core’ and others as supplementary’. Core data needs were those that were seen as essential by every agency and where there were significant benefits to be gained by adopting a nationally consistent approach to data collection. These needs included aggregate estimates of state/territory-wide visitation, visitor profiles, visitor satisfaction, and key determinants of quality of experience. Supplementary data needs were those recognized as important for a range of specific management purposes, but where there was less value in ensuring consistency and sharing of information between agencies. The final phase involves developing indicators and testing methods and protocols for gathering, analyzing and disseminating the core data needs. The research team is currently working with a number of agencies on these tasks.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: APAC
Copyright: (c) authors
Notes: APAC08 Proceedings – Australian Protected Areas Congress, Protected areas in the century of change, p. 146 - 148. Published 2009.
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