UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Managing national park visitor experience and visitor-wildlife coexistence : a case study of Banff National Park Geng, Dehui


National parks serve the mandate of protecting natural resources and providing recreational and educational opportunities for the public. How to balance the development of park services to ensure a high-quality visitor experience all year-round while conserving wildlife populations becomes increasingly important for park sustainability. However, there has been limited research on bridging the knowledge gap between tourism seasonality and visitor satisfaction and analyzing long-term human-wildlife conflict patterns through examining Banff National Park visitor/wildlife incidents and conflict management. This thesis (chapter 2) investigated visitor satisfaction in Banff National Park in different seasons. The study was conducted through a face-to-face questionnaire survey that collected visitor demographic, expectation and satisfaction data in July and December 2019 in Banff National Park. The data analyses were based on a sample of 741 respondents and were processed using Principal Component Analysis, Correlation Analysis and Logistic Regression Models. There were significant differences in visitor satisfaction levels and their determinants in different seasons. The quality of the park’s natural characteristics and the park’s activities were the most important determinant of visitor satisfaction in the high season and off-season, respectively. This research also (Chapter 3) investigated spatial and temporal patterns and characteristics of human-wildlife conflicts in Banff National Park. The data analyses were based on a sample of 6,302 occurrences of the conflicts during 2008-2016. The data were processed by using temporal and spatial analysis, hotspot analysis and correlation analysis. Results show a significant spatial characteristic that the conflicts had a high risk of occurring along or near the trails or roads, and 96% of the conflicts occurred within a 1km distance from the trails. Townsite activities and driving are two major activities that cause conflicts. Results also reveal that both anthropogenic and environmental variables were significantly correlated with the occurrences of the conflicts. The findings may assist both practitioners and scholars in understanding visitor expectations and satisfaction in different seasons and the patterns and trends of human-wildlife conflicts in Banff National Park. They also assist in the prioritization and effective management of the park to optimize the visitor experience and improve human-wildlife coexistence in national parks.

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