This study critically examines the role of visitor use information in park management planning. Few park planning documents utilise visitor use information. This is thought to result from two problems. Firstly, visitor use studies have been plagued with methodological problems such as unclear objectives, lack of rigour in the survey design and lack of synthesis of information needs. These have resulted in data which are unreliable and at times have no direct implication for management planning. The second problem arises from the lack of understanding of the role visitor use information may play in the planning process. A case study, the Centennial Park User survey, was undertaken to demonstrate how the inadequacies of existing visitor use studies could be overcome and to provide a base for future planning of Centennial Park. The survey data have assisted Management both in day-to-day decision making and future management planning relating to control of forthcoming events, responding to public comment, traffic management, facility provision, staff changeover, park staff work programmes and rosters, allocation of financial and staff resources, promotion of the Park, provision of interpretative material and re-allocation of users. By comparing the shortcomings of previous studies with the experience of the case study, specific implications for the collection and use of visitor use information in park management planning have been identified.
|Date of Award||1986|