Linking visitors’ spatial preferences to sustainable visitor management in a Norwegian national park
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The increasing numbers of tourists visiting national parks contribute to new opportunities as well as challenges. Alpine and Arctic national parks in Northern Europe are key habitats for vulnerable species such as wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus), and there is a significant need for management tools that can reduce the negative impacts of tourism. To gain knowledge about visitors’ motivations and spatial preferences, we carried out a survey of people (n = 498) on paths in part of Rondane National Park, Norway. The results indicate that a large share of the visitors in the central, vulnerable part of the National Park may find their desired recreational benefits in the less vulnerable fringe entrance areas. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of the results and how to increase knowledge about visitors’ spatial preferences in order better to regulate their behaviour with the aim of reducing impacts on vulnerable fauna.