Author Bios (50 Words)

Will Rice and So Young Park are doctoral students at Pennsylvania State University. Will studies the personal and social outcomes associated with public lands recreation, as well as recreational ecosystem services. So Young studies web data-driven analytics, information science and tourist behavior, and human rights issues in tourism.

Abstract (150 Words)

Camping has emerged as a growing sector of tourism. Within the context of the United States, where national parks are designated with the goal of preserving the natural ecosystem, this growing demand is met with a fixed supply of campsites. It is therefore important for agency managers to be able to understand and model future demand for their finite accommodations so that they might better allocate resources and disseminate projected demand trends to park visitors planning their national park journeys. This presentation describes the state of affairs concerning camping tourism within US national parks and presents an analysis using six forecasting methods to project future campsite demand. This includes a discussion of how the unique nature of camping tourism and the behavior of automobile campers present unexplored challenges for forecasting.

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Forecasting camping tourism demand in America’s national parks using a machine learning approach

Camping has emerged as a growing sector of tourism. Within the context of the United States, where national parks are designated with the goal of preserving the natural ecosystem, this growing demand is met with a fixed supply of campsites. It is therefore important for agency managers to be able to understand and model future demand for their finite accommodations so that they might better allocate resources and disseminate projected demand trends to park visitors planning their national park journeys. This presentation describes the state of affairs concerning camping tourism within US national parks and presents an analysis using six forecasting methods to project future campsite demand. This includes a discussion of how the unique nature of camping tourism and the behavior of automobile campers present unexplored challenges for forecasting.