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Movement surface: a multilevel approach for predicting visitor movement in nature areas


  • Ana Maldonado
  • Monica Wachowicz
  • Antonio Vaźquez-Hoehne


The movement of visitors in nature areas is influenced by a variety of factors that consist of aggregated characteristics such as the average number of visitors to a park, different types of visitors, and their typical destinations, as well as individual characteristics of an individual vistor’s expectations, motivations, activities, duration of stay, and trip itineraries. Therefore, it is important to simulate an overall picture of a visitor movement (macroscopic level) according to his individual physical mobility and cognitive capabilities (microscopic level). Most recreational simulation models have been developed to deal with one specific level in particular. In this paper we describe an integrated multilevel modelling approach for the prediction of visitor movement in nature areas. At the macroscopic level, a visitor movement is represented by a movement surface which follows the analogy of the flow of water in gravity models. In contrast, our model also belongs to the microscopic category, where visitors interact with their movement surface by making a sequence of decisions according to utility measures, which in turn generates their individual trajectories . The model was implemented for the simulation of the visitor movements within the Dwingelderveld National Park, which is located in the northern part of the Netherlands. Finally, the main outcomes and limitations of such a modelling approach are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Maldonado & Monica Wachowicz & Antonio Vaźquez-Hoehne, 2011. "Movement surface: a multilevel approach for predicting visitor movement in nature areas," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 38(5), pages 864-878, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:38:y:2011:i:5:p:864-878

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