Whitewater recreationists' preferences for social, resource and managerial attributes in the Alpine Nature and Geopark Styrian Eisenwurzen

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Abstract

The Salza River is located in the Alpine Nature and Geopark Styrian Eisenwurzen and is used heavily for whitewater recreation. One of the main goals of protected area management is to provide opportunities for outdoor recreation to maintain or enhance the quality of visitor experience. This study explored whitewater recreationists' crowding perceptions and preferences for river trip scenarios on the Salza River, Austria, using a discrete choice experiment. Six attributes described social, resource and managerial river conditions. More than 70% of the paddlers reported crowding. Results of the discrete choice experiment suggest that use levels are by far the most important attribute, followed by the river difficulty and the river access fee. Boaters preferred low numbers of people on the river, no waiting times for car parking or boat launching, moderate river difficulty, shorter trip lengths and a low river access fee. The findings could be of use to the Nature Park in helping to better understand the preferences of one of its main target groups.

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Kainzinger, S., Arnberger, A., & Burns, R. C. (2017). Whitewater recreationists’ preferences for social, resource and managerial attributes in the Alpine Nature and Geopark Styrian Eisenwurzen. Eco.Mont, 9(2), 52–60. https://doi.org/10.1553/eco.mont-9-2s52

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