Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Main Title: Monitoring recreation across European nature areas: A geo-database of visitor counts, a review of literature and a call for a visitor counting reporting standard
Author(s): Schägner, Jan Philipp
Maes, Joachim
Brandner, Luke
Paracchini, Maria Luisa
Hartje, Volkmar
Dubois, Gregoire
Type: Article
Is Part Of: 10.14279/depositonce-7672
Language Code: en
Abstract: Nature recreation and tourism is a substantial ecosystem service of Europe’s countryside that has a substantial economic value and contributes considerably to income and employment of local communities. Highlighting the recreational value and economic contribution of nature areas can be used as a strong argument for the funding of protected and recreational areas. The total number of recreational visits of a nature area has been recognised as a major determinant of its economic recreational value and its contribution to local economies. This paper presents an international geodatabase on recreational visitor numbers to non-urban ecosystems, containing 1,267 observations at 518 separate case study areas throughout Europe. The monitored sites are described by their centroid coordinates and shape files displaying the exact extension of the sites. Therefore, the database illustrates the spatial distribution of visitor counting throughout Europe and can be used for secondary research, such as for validation of spatially explicit recreational ecosystem service models and for identifying relevant drivers of recreational ecosystem services. To develop the database, we review visitor monitoring literature throughout Europe and give an overview of such activities with special attention to visitor counting. We identify one major shortcoming in available literature, which relates to the presentation, study area definition and methodological reporting of conducted visitor counting studies. Insufficient reporting hampers the identification of the study area, the comparability of different studies and the evaluation of the studies’ quality. Based on our findings, we propose a standardised reporting template for visitor counting studies and advanced data sharing for recreational visitor data. Researchers and institutions are invited to report on their visitor counting studies via our web interface at to contribute to a global visitor database that will be shared via the ESP Visualisation tool (
Issue Date: 17-Mar-2017
Date Available: 16-Jul-2019
DDC Class: 330 Wirtschaft
Subject(s): recreation
visitor monitoring
visitor counting review
reporting standard
visitor statistics
visitor data sharing
literature review
Journal Title: Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
Publisher: Elsevier
Publisher Place: Amsterdam [u.a.]
Volume: 18
Publisher DOI: 10.1016/j.jort.2017.02.004
Page Start: 44
Page End: 55
ISSN: 2213-0780
Appears in Collections:FG Landschaftsplanung und Landschaftsentwicklung » Publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
schaegner_etal_2017.pdf1.52 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons