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Forests 2012, 3(2), 155-165; doi:10.3390/f3020155
Article

Factors Influencing Visitors to Suburban Open Space Areas near a Northern Japanese City

1,* , 1
, 2
, 3
 and 1
1 Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Kita 9 Nishi 9 Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan 2 Graduate School of Human and Socio-Environmental Studies, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-cho, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan 3 Environment & Energy Research Division, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc., 2-10-3, Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8141, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 January 2012 / Revised: 14 March 2012 / Accepted: 5 April 2012 / Published: 12 April 2012
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Abstract

Visitor information often serves as the basis for the management plan of parks. However, there exist few scientific and fundamental surveys for parks and open spaces in Japan. We analyzed the correlation between the number of visitors and the various factors in a suburban open space in a northern Japanese city, Takino Park. To explain the fluctuations in the number of visitors in Takino Park, multiple regression analyses with the stepwise method were conducted. The analyses employed social factors and meteorological factors, such as the day of the week, school vacations, temperature and the weather. The results show that the most influential factor is the day of the week, i.e., Sundays and holidays. The weather is also influential as the number of visitors decreases on rainy and snowy days. Comparing different seasons of the year, we found that influential factors varied from one season to the other. A key distinguishing finding of our results is that the weather conditions at the departure site and the weather forecast are also determining factors. These findings will help park managers understand the current situations and examine future management strategies to maintain and enhance visitor satisfaction, and improve information services.
Keywords: number of visitors; multiple regression analysis; suburban park; weather condition; weather forecast number of visitors; multiple regression analysis; suburban park; weather condition; weather forecast
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Aikoh, T.; Abe, R.; Kohsaka, R.; Iwata, M.; Shoji, Y. Factors Influencing Visitors to Suburban Open Space Areas near a Northern Japanese City. Forests 2012, 3, 155-165.

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