Spatial Patterns of Visitor Behavior: A Case Study of the North Carolina Zoological Park

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Keith G. Debbage, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This paper explains the spatial patterns of visitor behavior at the North Carolina Zoological Park (NCZP). The NCZP is one of the top ten tourist attractions in the state, but it is unclear what factors influence each individual 's decision to visit the zoo. The research reported in this paper partially confirmed many of the theoretical expectations about visitor behavior. Based on the results of a visitor survey, the NCZP is a family attraction that caters to a largely well-educated and affluent audience. Most of those surveyed came from the nearby urban centers, while the rural counties immediately adjacent to the NCZP did not generate a large number of visitors, in part due to their smaller populations. Individuals may also require a threshold in distance travelled before a recreational day-trip becomes a meaningful experience. Visitors w ith above average income levels were more likely to travel greater distances to visit the NCZP, while education played a less significant role in explaining distance travelled. Although the NCZP is a statefunded institution, visitors from the extreme eastern and western parts of the state are not well -represented. The remoteness and largely rural nature of the economy in these parts of the state, and the lower income levels of individuals from these counties, may act to constrain individual mobility.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1990
visitor behavior, North Carolina Zoological Park, socio-economic status, recreation, parks, zoos

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