UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Outdoor recreation on Galiano Island : factors which influence participation. MacDonald, Dougald George


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the factors which explain the patterns of outdoor recreation that a given population pursues on a given land surface. Patterns of use were understood as (1) the types of activities the population pursued and the frequency with which they pursued them, and (2) the distribution of these activities over a differentiated land surface. Emphasis was placed on designing a methodological framework within which the explanatory value of postulated sets of factors can be examined. The data used to illustrate the methodology was taken from a study of the outdoor recreational use of Galiano Island done by The University of British Columbia School of Community and Regional Planning during the summer of 1969. (1) I made the operational assumption that the observed variation in the types and frequency of outdoor recreation activities pursued by groups of visitors to Galiano Island could be explained by differences in the "internal" characteristics of the groups. Internal characteristics were defined as all factors contributed by the recreationists themselves such as age, sex, experience, etc., which could influence the way they respond to the landscape. In effect, internal characteristics represent the translative mental processes that mediate between the stimulii the recreationist receives from the landscape and his perceived use of it. I hypothesized that variations in the frequency and types of outdoor recreation activities which visitors to Galiano Island pursued could be explained by a selected set of socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the visitor group. The hypothesis was tested by canonical correlation analysis. The results obtained were not significant at the 0.05 level of probability . I argued that the negative results were attributable to the characteristics of the data and that the hypothesis, in a conceptual sense, was not incorrect. (2) The second assumption made was that the areal variation in the recreational use of the land surface, generally and for specific activities, could be explained by variations in the characteristics of the landscape itself. I hypothesized that the number of visits (irrespective of activity) that recreationists paid to lot areas on Galiano Island could be predicted from measures of the accessibility, development, and proximity to the shoreline of the lot. Following this, I hypothesized that the number of visits paid to lot areas for each of three specific activities (going to the beach, camping, hiking) could be predicted from the same set of measurements. These hypotheses were tested by multiple regression analysis. Two of the four analyses produced equations which were significant at the 0.001 level of probability. The first showed that the combined total of visits for all activities could be predicted from measurements of the accessibility, development, and proximity to the shoreline of the lot area. The second significant relationship showed that visits paid to lot areas for the purpose of going to the beach could be predicted from the same set of measurements. Both equations, although significant, had questionable explanatory value owing to the nature of the data. The sample size was too small to permit adequate testing of the hypotheses. The recent literature and the direction pointed to by the results obtained in this study support the conceptual framework which I have presented. However, the data used were largely inadequate to test the conceptual basis of the methodologies proposed. I have suggested throughout the study where improvements for the collection of data can be made.

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