Recreation conflicts in national parks and coping behaviors of park visitors

  • Suphakon Prathumthin Department of Conservation, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
  • Noppawan Tanakanjana Phongkhieo Department of Conservation, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
  • Thawan Nieamsup Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Science, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Keywords: recreation conflict, national park visitor, coping behavior, Thailand

Abstract

The objectives of this research were to study the levels and characteristics of recreation conflicts in national parks, factors influencing the conflicts, and recreationists’ coping behaviors. Questionnaire was used to collect data from 1,200 visitors to three national parks where different types of conflict occur. The research found that the overall conflict was at a low level, with the average score of 2.22 (SD = 0.67) out of 5.00 and could be classified into three groups. The first group was the “inappropriateness of the number and behavior of other tourists and services in the area”. The second group was the “inadequacy of activity areas and required skills and equipment”. The third group was the “physical conditions of the area, facility and information”. The top three variables influencing the conflict level at the greatest extent consisted of the behavior of other tourist groups (S.R.W. = 0.359; p < .01), educational level (S.R.W. = 0.162; p < .01), and service of staff (S.R.W. = -0.160; p < .01). As for coping behavior, most visitors chose to develop skills required for coexisting with other tourists, with the average score of 3.25 (SD = 0.80), followed by developing skills required for undertaking recreation activities, with the average score of 3.15 (SD = 0.86), and ignoring what is causing conflict, with the average score of 2.99 (SD = 1.00). The research recommended that park authorities should operate activity zoning, control the number of visitors where activity space is limited, and strictly enforce regulations to resolve recreation conflict.

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Published
2021-04-30
Section
Research articles