Determination of tourist flow patterns in a low mountain study area

Borbála Benkhard


Understanding the movement of visitors contributes to appropriate management plans for visitor destinations. Determination of this movement is composed of not only the identification of the starting and end points together with the sequence of stops but the characterisation of the route pattern as well. The type of this pattern depends on the human apart from outer physical parameters and the available time thus it has a relationship with the behaviour and type of the tourist. Understanding and making use of these are important measures for organisations managing natural areas.

Observation of visitors in natural areas is not possible in every environment while reducing the tread of certain popular sites can be made only with the help of such knowledge. This explains that literature describing different patterns analyse inter-destination relationships.

In this paper the identification of the movement pattern of hikers in a mountainous study area is presented. Visitor flow analysis of a study area in Hungary (180 km2 area of Central Börzsöny in Duna-Ipoly National Park) was performed on the basis of a questionnaire survey carried out with the help of volunteers. Based on the analysis of the obtained data the accurate description of the movement of both individual hikers and groups became possible.

Mathematics based definition of hiking routes completed in mountainous areas is new to the available data in the literature. Patterns of one day routes were classified into 6 types and two types of hiking routes requiring several days were also identified. Different route types were observed at the different entrances of the destination. Such information helps the identification of visitor types at the starting points and the design of appropriate visitor management measures.


visitor flow; tourist movement pattern; behaviour; spatial movement; itinerary model

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