Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 133, Issue 3–4, pp 1163–1173 | Cite as

Differential temperature preferences and thresholds among summer campers in Ontario’s southern provincial parks: a Canadian case study in tourism climatology

  • Micah J. HewerEmail author
  • Daniel J. Scott
  • William A. Gough
Original Paper


Weather and climate are important factors in relation to outdoor recreation and tourism. Camping and park visitation are weather sensitive activities very likely to be impacted by projected climate change. Temperature is the weather variable that has received the greatest attention within the tourism climatology literature and was the greatest predictor of park visitation within previous assessments. This study uses a stated climate preferences approach, relying on survey-based data, to explore differences for temperature preferences and thresholds among campers in Ontario parks. Statistically significant differences (at the 95% confidence level) in mean values for temperature preferences and thresholds were recorded based on various camper characteristics, such as the following: activity selection, age, gender, distance travelled, length of stay, life cycle stage, camping experience, and camping equipment. Swimmers preferred warmer day-time temperatures. Older campers preferred cooler temperatures and were more sensitive to heat stress, in the day and night time. Females preferred warmer temperatures and were less sensitive to heat stress during the night time. Campers who had travelled further distances to reach the park or planned to stay for longer periods were less sensitive to heat stress. Campers with children in their group preferred warmer temperatures and were less sensitive to heat stress, in the day and at night. Respondents with higher levels of camping experience preferred warmer temperatures at night. Tent campers were less sensitive to heat stress, in the day and at night. The results of this study have direct implications for previous and future climate change impact assessments on park visitation.



We would like to sincerely thank Dr. Paul Eagles, for his valuable contributions to the overall study design and survey development. In addition, we would like to thank Dr. Bryan Smale for lending his expertise in relation to quantitative research and data analysis. Our gratitude also goes out to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for allowing us to conduct this research in Ontario Parks. Special thanks for the contribution made by Dr. Will Wistowsky from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources as well, for his efforts with revising the survey instrument and preparing it for distribution within the parks.

Supplementary material

704_2017_2248_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (962 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 961 kb)
704_2017_2248_MOESM2_ESM.sav (345 kb)
ESM 2 (SAV 345 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Micah J. Hewer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel J. Scott
    • 2
  • William A. Gough
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Toronto ScarboroughTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Geography and Environmental ManagementUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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