Anforderungen an Wanderleitsysteme in alpinen Destinationen: Eine Analyse der Wandernden am Fallbeispiel des Stubaitals in Tirol

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Alpine destinations are confronted with an increasing recreational use. Hiking in particular is getting more popular among a broad target group, not least because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The growing demand is noticeable in the increased number of alpine accident statistics. Adopted strategies of visitor activity management are necessary for accident prevention, maintaining quality of recreation and nature conservation. The aim of the research project is to formulate userbased requirements for hiking guidance systems in alpine destinations. For this purpose, hikers were examined based on the case study of the Stubai Valley in Tyrol in terms of their sociodemography, hiking experience and skills, motivation and tour planning as well as their spatiotemporal behaviour and analyzed for discrepancies. In a three-week survey period in the main tourist season in summer 2020, 366 hiking groups or individual hikers were surveyed at the beginning of their hike at two selected locations in the study area. The hikes were then recorded by GPS logging and the study participants took part in a post-survey. The collected data were compiled with information on the geographic features of the Stubai Valley from a geodatabase of the investigation area. The results of this study show that there is hiking in all age groups regardless of gender. Furthermore the majority of the sample hikes in groups. The age group of 20- to 40-year-olds was represented with around a third and the average age was 41 years. The most important motivation for hiking is the experience of nature followed by the motive of socializing. Moreover a third of the sample are beginners. In addition, 12 percent of those surveyed did not plan any route at all. Information about the hike was obtained equally from both digital and print media. If information was obtained digitally, it was most often via the region's website. During the hike, the orientation based on the sign-posts is preferred (58%). Smartphones are used in addition for orientation (13%). The dif-ficulty of the hike was significantly underestimated in the planning, t(351) = 17.42, p < .001, d = 0.92, n = 352. The hiking abilities of the most inexperienced accompanying per-son were particularly overestimated, t(339) = 9.83, p < .001, d = 0.53, n = 340, than those of the person responsible for the tour, t(361) = 6.49, p < .001, d = 0.34, n = 363. Further-more, 50 percent of the hikes did not go as expected. Reasons for this were physical problems, weather conditions, perceived restrictions due to children or dogs, lack of direction and over- or under challenge. The case study of the Stubai Valley illustrates that touristic mountain hikers are diverse and that hiking is predominantly a social activity. This seems to have become more significant due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, mountain trails were underestimated in the planning and own abilities were overestimated. In addition a third of the sample are beginners with little mountain hiking experience and no knowledge of the area. Aside of that over a thenth did not carry out any tour planning. Accordingly, mountain hikers must be better informed about the difficulty of the mountain trails and their requirements. In addition, there is a need to increase awareness for careful route planning. Fundamental for a realistic selfassessment of hiking skills and an appropriate tour planning could be a consistent and clear difficulty classification of hiking trails as well as a specific requirement profile. Furthermore, the guidance of visitors begins already in the information stage before the actual stay in the destination. Accordingly, a hiking guidance system should be understood as a holistic system that guides the user through all stages of their wayfinding. The website of the respective alpine destination in particular offers potential for raising awareness. During the stay, tourist information offices could increasingly act as competence centers. Information and orientation boards at starting points and staying locations of the hike could be optimized. It is advisable to strive for a high quality of the analogous signage to provide an undisturbed hiking and nature experience.
Translated title of the contributionRequirements for hiking guidance systems in alpine destinations: An analysis of hikers using the example of the Stubaital in Tyrol
Original languageGerman
Place of PublicationKöln
PublisherDeutsche Sporthochschule Köln
Number of pages166
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameSchriftenreihe Outdoor Sport und Umweltforschung
ISSN (Print)1612-2437

ID: 6401974

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