About the Project
A 2018 CPCIL Parks Leadership Capstone Team project explored visitor use management at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in British Columbia, noted for dramatic increases in visitation that are characterized by the “selfie-log” where people line up to take their picture for social media.
This project raised questions of the impact of selfie culture on park visitation and if there are common approaches that have more or less impact on reducing or managing over-use. This research idea is to evaluate the social media around specific “hot spots” as well as the park agency perceptions, statistics, and response to these hot spots. Responses of interest include implementing registration systems, using social media to educate or redirect visitors, or site closures.
We feel the impact to practice would be two-fold. First, parks could share ideas to find common approaches to messaging and behaviour change. Second, research could identify ways to use social media to assess emerging visitation patterns.
CPCIL is looking for research partners to lead this study from funding application to completion, and we have identified several Park Leaders who may be interested in being case sites (but are not confirmed or endorsing this study), such as:
- BC Parks/Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
- New Brunswick Parks/Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park
- Parks Canada/Point Pelee National park
A sub-study might be to focus in on hot-spots for visitation during COVID-19.
Ghermandi, A., Sinclair M., Fichtman, E., and Gish, M. (2020), Novel insights on intensity and typology of direct human-nature interactions in protected areas through passive crowdsourcing, Global Environmental Change, Volume 65, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102189
Hausmann, A., Toivonen, T., Slotow, R., Tenkanen, H., Moilanen, A., Heikinheimo, V. and Di Minin, E. (2018), Social Media Data Can Be Used to Understand Tourists’ Preferences for Nature‐Based Experiences in Protected Areas. CONSERVATION LETTERS, 11: e12343. doi:10.1111/conl.12343
Yun Liang, Andrei P. Kirilenko, Svetlana O. Stepchenkova & Shihan (David) Ma (2020) Using social media to discover unwanted behaviours displayed by visitors to nature parks: comparisons of nationally and privately owned parks in the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa, Tourism Recreation Research, 45:2, 271-276, DOI: 10.1080/02508281.2019.1681720
We were informed of this related podcast by Claire Brassard of the Big Story Podcast and have added it to this research idea: https://thebigstorypodcast.ca/2019/06/28/selfie-culture-outdoors-nature/
Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership