Browsing by Author "Vanhatalo, Anna"

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  • Vanhatalo, Anna (2009)
    Outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism have increased during the last ten years. In addition, the interest towards national parks has grown, which can be seen also as an increasing trend in the development of the number of visits to national parks. The aim of this thesis is to explain the cross-sectional variation in the visitation data representing different parks and hiking areas. Another aim is to explore the question of why the visitation in national parks has increased in Finland. These questions are studied separately for the national parks and hiking areas, because the development of the number of visits in national parks and hiking areas has been different. In addition, the separation is made also between Southern Finland and Northern Finland due to for example the size differences and close link of the national parks in Northern Finland with the ski-resort centers. Explanatory factors are divided into supply side factors (services inside and outside the park) and demand side factors (economic and demographics factors). The data is a panel data, including all national parks and hiking areas in the time period 2000−2008. The one-way fixed effects model is used in the regression analysis. According to results the land area of the park, services inside the park and population size seemed to have positive effects on the number of visits. Income per capita had negative impact on the visits. In Southern Finland the size of the age-class 65−74 affected positively the number of visits, whereas the effect of gasoline price was negative. Used time period was short due to the lack of appropriate data. Thus, the results reflect more the cross-sectional variation between parks. Results can be used in the planning of the management of national parks and hiking areas.