Monitoring visitor numbers in New Zealand national parks and protected areas A literature review and development summary

Gordon Cessford, Rob Burns
A B S T R A C T This report outlines the main difficulties encountered when monitoring visitors, the range of visitor monitoring options available to park managers, and the features that park managers would like in their visitor counting tools. Following this is an outline of progress in the development of visitor counting tools and systems by the New Zealand Department of Conservation up to 2008, which includes an outline of the key lessons learned from this research. The identification of
more » ... tor behaviours is an essential component of visitor management in protected areas. The fundamental baseline information required in any visitor monitoring programme is the number of visitors, and how these are distributed in time and space. However, in the past, obtaining visitor counts in a reliable and cost-effective manner has proven to be more difficult than expected. This report does not contain any technical specifications for the counters developed, but provides a key reference resource for anyone involved in the general development and use of visitor counting systems.