Next Article in Journal
Aerosol Optical Properties over Beijing during the World Athletics Championships and Victory Day Military Parade in August and September 2015
Next Article in Special Issue
Impact of Climate Change on Natural Snow Reliability, Snowmaking Capacities, and Wind Conditions of Ski Resorts in Northeast Turkey: A Dynamical Downscaling Approach
Previous Article in Journal
Soot Nanoparticles Could Partake in Nucleation of Biogenic Particles in the Atmosphere: Using Fullerene as a Model Compound
Previous Article in Special Issue
Comparison of Climate Preferences for Domestic and International Beach Holidays: A Case Study of Canadian Travelers
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Atmosphere 2016, 7(3), 44; doi:10.3390/atmos7030044

Weather and Tourism: Thermal Comfort and Zoological Park Visitor Attendance

1
Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
2
Department of Geography & Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27402, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Daniel Scott and Stefan Gössling
Received: 26 January 2016 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 14 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism Climatology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2396 KB, uploaded 14 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

Weather events have the potential to greatly impact business operations and profitability, especially in outdoor-oriented economic sectors such as Tourism, Recreation, and Leisure (TRL). Although a substantive body of work focuses on the macroscale impacts of climate change, less is known about how daily weather events influence attendance decisions, particularly relating to the physiological thermal comfort levels of each visitor. To address this imbalance, this paper focuses on ambient thermal environments and visitor behavior at the Phoenix and Atlanta zoos. Daily visitor attendances at each zoo from September 2001 to June 2011, were paired with the Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET) to help measure the thermal conditions most likely experienced by zoo visitors. PET was calculated using hourly atmospheric variables of temperature, humidity, wind speed, and cloud cover from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at each zoological park location and then classified based on thermal comfort categories established by the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The major findings suggested that in both Phoenix and Atlanta, optimal thermal regimes for peak attendance occurred within “slightly warm” and “warm” PET-based thermal categories. Additionally, visitors seemed to be averse to the most commonly occurring thermal extreme since visitors appeared to avoid the zoo on excessively hot days in Phoenix and excessively cold days in Atlanta. Finally, changes in the daily weather impacted visitor attendance as both zoos experienced peak attendance on days with dynamic changes in the thermal regimes and depressed attendances on days with stagnant thermal regimes. Building a better understanding of how weather events impact visitor demand can help improve our assessments of the potential impacts future climate change may have on tourism. View Full-Text
Keywords: Phoenix; Atlanta; weather; visitor attendance; zoo; thermal comfort; thermal aversion; physiologically equivalent temperature (PET) Phoenix; Atlanta; weather; visitor attendance; zoo; thermal comfort; thermal aversion; physiologically equivalent temperature (PET)
Figures

Figure 1

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. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Perkins, D.R.; Debbage, K.G. Weather and Tourism: Thermal Comfort and Zoological Park Visitor Attendance. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 44.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Atmosphere EISSN 2073-4433 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top