Distinct Segments of Rubber Tire Traffic. More interaction with wild lands & more physically active. Less interaction with wild lands and less physically active. Soft RV’ers. Hard Core RV’ers. Key
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More interaction with wild lands & more physically active
Less interaction with wild lands and less physically active
Hard Core RV’ers
Lines indicate movement between segments influenced by lifestyle, age, income, $ and weather. Solid lines indicate greater likelihood of mode switching.
Driving into the Wild: An Investigation into
Self Drive Visitors’ Perceptions of Wilderness
Anne Hardy, Ph.D., Pamela Wright, Ph.D. and Jovan Simic, MNRES Candidate
Coming to a Wilderness Near You
The drive tourism industry and particularly the use of recreational vehicles (RV’s) is increasing rapidly in Canada. Per capita, Canada has a higher level of RV ownership than the USA, with 13% of the population owning an RV, compared to 10% in the USA (Go RVing, 2004). Moreover, in British Columbia (BC) alone, more than one million non residents took a holiday in their car or a rented car (Statistics Canada, 2001). This figure, which has most likely increased and does not include residents, suggests that a summer influx of RV and car travelers in regional and remote areas can have dramatic social and environmental impacts on wild land areas. Given that the goal of sustainable development is now a cornerstone of many tourism development and protected area agencies, an understanding of the nature of this market is imperative in order to plan and create policy for prevention of negative environmental, socio-cultural and economic impacts.
To date, little research has been conducted on the drive tourism market and it is often refereed to as a homogeneous market sector. We are interested in exploring whether self drive travelers (using cars and RVs) may be segmented into groups according to their motivation for travel, behaviour whilst planning their trip and traveling, types of vehicle and attitudes towards wilderness. In particular, we are interested in examining self drive travelers’ perceptions of and attitudes towards wilderness, interactions with wildlands, and the role that the idea of wilderness plays in planning their holiday destinations.
Focus groups and interviews with self-drive tourists suggest that there are distinct segments of the market differentiated by accommodation type. For the dedicated RV traveler, surrounding themselves with their own possessions, not sharing, safety, and minimizing physical contact with the outdoors and with people are key. Wilderness may be pretty to look at right along the road side but its inconvenient and potentially dangerous to enter.
Resource Recreation and Tourism Program
University of Northern British Columbia3333 University Way,Prince George, British Columbia,Canada V2N 4Z9
Tel: (250) 960-5114