Environmental Management

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 493–502 | Cite as

Cultural Influence on Crowding Norms in Outdoor Recreation: A Comparative Analysis of Visitors to National Parks in Turkey and the United States

  • Selcuk Sayan
  • Daniel H. KrymkowskiEmail author
  • Robert E. Manning
  • William A. Valliere
  • Ellen L. Rovelstad


Formulation of standards of quality in parks and outdoor recreation can be guided by normative theory and related empirical methods. We apply this approach to measure the acceptability of a range of use levels in national parks in Turkey and the United States. Using statistical methods for comparing norm curves across contexts, we find significant differences among Americans, British, and Turkish respondents. In particular, American and British respondents were substantially less tolerant of seeing other visitors and demonstrated higher norm intensity than Turkish respondents. We discuss the role of culture in explaining these findings, paying particular attention to Turkey as a traditional “contact culture” and the conventional emphasis on solitude and escape in American environmental history and policy. We conclude with a number of recommendations to stimulate more research on the relationship between culture and outdoor recreation.


Crowding norms National parks Culture Statistical comparison of norm curves Turkey United States 



The authors thank the editors and four anonymous reviewers for very helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article. The authors also thank Zion National Park for financial support, Professor Wayne Freimund for help with preparation of the study photographs and the Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit of Akdeniz University, and the Turkish National Park Service for their assistance.


  1. Arnberger A, Eder T, Shoji Y, Mieno T (2010) How many people should be in the urban forest? A comparison of trail preferences of Vienna and Sapporo forest visitor segments. Urban For Urban Green 9:215–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Budruk M, Manning R (2003) Crowding related norms in outdoor recreation: U.S. versus international visitors. In: Proceedings of the 2002 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium, USDA Forest Service General Technical Report NE-302:216-28Google Scholar
  3. Chavez D (2003) Mexican American recreation: home, community, and natural environments. In: Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on Social Sciences. Retrieved 10 Aug 2010 from
  4. de Groot K (1998) Highlights from the first Latin American Congress on National Parks and other Protected Areas. Int J Wilderness 4(2):7–11Google Scholar
  5. Dwyer J, Gobster P (1997) The implications of increased racial and ethnic diversity for recreation resource management, planning, and research. In: Proceedings of the 1996 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium, USDA Forest Service General Technical Report NE-232, pp 3–7Google Scholar
  6. Fleishman L, Feitelson E, Salomon I (2004) The role of cultural and demographic diversity in crowding perception: evidence from nature reserves in Israel. Tour Anal 9:23–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Floyd M (1999) Race, ethnicity and the use of the national park system. Soc Sci Res Rev 1(2):1–23Google Scholar
  8. Floyd M, Johnson C (2002) Coming to terms with environmental justice in outdoor recreation: a conceptual discussion with research implications. Leis Sci 24(1):59–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fortwangler C, Stern M (2004) Why history and culture matter: a case study from Virgin Islands National Park. Policy Matters 13:148–161Google Scholar
  10. Goodenough WH (1957) Cultural anthropology and linguistics. In: Garvin PL (ed) Report of the 7th Annual Round Table Meeting on Linguistics and Language Study, Monograph Series on Languages and Linguistics, vol 9. Georgetown University Press, Washington, DC, pp 167–173Google Scholar
  11. Gramann J, Floyd M, Saenz R (1993) Outdoor recreation and Mexican American ethnicity: a benefits perspective. In: Ewert A, Chavez D, Magill A (eds) Culture, conflict, and communication in the wildland urban interface. Westview Press, Boulder, pp 69–84Google Scholar
  12. Grasmick HG, Blackwell BS, Bursik RJ Jr, Mitchell S (1993) Changes in perceived threats of shame, embarrassment, and legal sanctions for interpersonal violence, 1982–1992. Violence Vict 8:313–325Google Scholar
  13. Hall ED (1966) The hidden dimension. Doubleday, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Hauser P (1962) Demographic and ecological changes as factors in outdoor recreation. Trends in American living and outdoor recreation: Report to the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission #22. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, pp 27–59Google Scholar
  15. Heywood J (1993) Behavioral conventions in higher density, day use wildland/urban recreation settings: a preliminary case study. J Leis Res 25:39–52Google Scholar
  16. Heywood J (2002) The cognitive and emotional components of behavior norms in outdoor recreation. Leis Sci 24:271–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jackson JM (1965) Structural characteristics of norms. In: Steiner ID, Fishbein MF (eds) Current studies in social psychology. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, pp 301–309Google Scholar
  18. Jacobi C, Manning R (1999) Crowding and conflict on the carriage roads of Acadia National Park: an application of the Visitor Experience and Resource Protection framework. Park Sci 19(2):22–26Google Scholar
  19. Kaya N, Weber M (2003) Cross-cultural differences in the perception of crowding and privacy regulation: American and Turkish students. J Environ Psychol 23:301–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kneeshaw K, Vaske J, Bright A, Absher J (2004) Situational influences of acceptable wildland fire management actions. Soc Nat Resour Int J 17(6):477–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Li C, Chick G, Zinn H, Absher J, Graefe AR (2007) Ethnicity as a variable in leisure research. J Leis Res 30(3):514–545Google Scholar
  22. Manning R (1997) Social carrying capacity of parks and outdoor recreation areas. Parks Recreat 32(10):32–38Google Scholar
  23. Manning R (2001) Visitor Experience and Resource Protection: a framework for managing the carrying capacity of national parks. J Park Recreat Adm 19(1):93–108Google Scholar
  24. Manning R (2007) Parks and carrying capacity: commons without tragedy. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  25. Manning R (2009) Parks and people: managing outdoor recreation at Acadia National Park. University Press of New England, HanoverGoogle Scholar
  26. Manning R (2011) Studies in outdoor recreation: search and research for satisfaction. Oregon State University Press, CorvallisGoogle Scholar
  27. Manning R, Freimund W (2004) Use of visual research methods to measure standards of quality for parks and outdoor recreation. J Leis Res 36(4):557–579Google Scholar
  28. Manning R, Krymkowski D (2010) Social science applied to parks and outdoor recreation. Int J Sociol 40(3):3–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Manning R, Ballinger NJ, Marion J, Roggenbuck J (1996a) Recreation management in natural areas: problems and practices, status and trends. Nat Areas J 16:142–146Google Scholar
  30. Manning R, Lime D, Freimund W, Pitt D (1996b) Crowding norms at frontcountry sites: a visual approach to setting standards of quality. Leis Sci 18:39–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Manning R, Lime D, Freimund W, Pitt D (1996c) Crowding norms at frontcountry sites: a visual approach to setting standards of quality. Leis Sci 18:125–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Manning R, Jacobi C, Valliere W, Wang B (1998) Standards of quality in parks and recreation. Parks Recreat 33:88–94Google Scholar
  33. Manning R, Jacobi C, Valliere W, Wang B (1999) Crowding norms: alternative measurement approaches. Leis Sci 21:219–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Meeker JW, Woods WK, Lucas W (1973) Red, white, and black in the National Parks. N Am Rev 258:3–7Google Scholar
  35. Mueller E, Gurin G (1962) Participation in outdoor recreation: factors affecting demand among American adults: Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission Study Report 20. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, p 94Google Scholar
  36. Nakagawa S, Schielzeth H (2013) A general and simple method for obtaining R 2 from generalized linear mixed-effects models. Methods Ecol Evol 4:133–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nash R (2001) Wilderness and the American mind, 4th edn. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  38. National Park Service (1997) VERP: the visitor experience and resource protection framework—a handbook for planners and managers. Denver Service Center, DenverGoogle Scholar
  39. Northumberland Park Authority (2011) Visitor survey 2011. QA Research, YorkGoogle Scholar
  40. Roberts NS, Chitwere T (2011) Speaking of justice: exploring ethnic minority perspectives of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Environ Pract 13(4):54–369Google Scholar
  41. Roberts NS, Rodriguez DA (2008) Use of multiple methods: an examination of constraints affecting ethnic minority visitor use of national parks and management implications. Ethn Stud Rev 31(2):35–70Google Scholar
  42. Rodriguez D, Roberts N (2002) The association of race/ethnicity, gender, and social class in outdoor recreation experiences. NPS Social Science Program Colorado State University Fort Collins, Diane Publishing CompanyGoogle Scholar
  43. Roggenbuck J, Williams D, Bange S, Dean D (1991) River float trip encounter norms: questioning the use of the social norms concept. J Leis Res 23:133–153Google Scholar
  44. Sayan S, Karagüzel O (2010) Problems of outdoor recreation: the effects of visitors’ demographics on the perception of Termessos National Park, Turkey. Environ Manage 45:1257–1270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Shelby B, Heberlein T (1986) Carrying capacity in recreation settings. Oregon State University Press, CorvallisGoogle Scholar
  46. Shelby B, Vaske J (1991) Using normative data to develop evaluative standards for resource management: a comment on three recent papers. J Leis Res 23:173–187Google Scholar
  47. Shelby B, Whittaker D (1995) Flows and recreation quality on the Dolores River: integrating overall and specific evaluations. Rivers 5:121–132Google Scholar
  48. Shelby B, Vaske J, Harris R (1988) User standards for ecological impacts at wilderness campsites. J Leis Res 20:245–256Google Scholar
  49. Slee B (2002) Social exclusion in the countryside. Countrys Recreat 10(1):2–7Google Scholar
  50. Stanfield McCown R, Manning R, Budruk M, Floyd M (2007) Black perceptions of recreation in national parks: an exploratory study. Unpublished ManuscriptGoogle Scholar
  51. Stankey G, Cole D, Lucas R, Peterson M, Frissell S, Washburne R (1985) Limits of acceptable change: a new framework for managing the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex. West Wildlands 10:33–37Google Scholar
  52. Taylor P, Grandjean B, Gramann J (2011) National Park service comprehensive survey of the American public 2008–2009: racial and ethnic diversity of National Park System, visitors and non-visitors natural resource report. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Fort Collins, Colorado. NPS/NRSS/SSD/NRR—2011/432Google Scholar
  53. Vaske J, Shelby L (2008) Crowding as a descriptive indicator and an evaluative standard: results from 30 years of research. Leis Sci 30(2):111–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Vaske J, Whittaker D (2004) Normative approaches to natural resources. In: Manfredo MJ, Vaske JJ, Bruyere BL, Field DR, Brown PJ (eds) Society and natural resources: a summary of knowledge. Modern Litho, Jefferson, pp 283–294Google Scholar
  55. Vaske J, Graefe A, Shelby B, Heberlein T (1986) Backcountry encounter norms: theory, method, and empirical evidence. J Leis Res 18:137–153Google Scholar
  56. Vaske J, Donnelly M, Petruzzi J (1996) Country of origin, encounter norms, and crowding in a frontcountry setting. Leis Sci 18:161–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Washburne R (1978) Black under-participation in wildland recreation: alternative explanations. Leis Sci 1:175–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Washburne R, Wall P (1980) Black–white ethnic differences in outdoor recreation. USDA Forest Service Research Paper INT-249Google Scholar
  59. Whittaker D (1997) Capacity norms on bear viewing platforms. Hum Dimens Wildl 2(2):37–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Whittaker D, Shelby B (1988) Types of norms for recreation impact: extending the social norms concept. J Leis Res 20:261–273Google Scholar
  61. Wilderness Act of 1964 (1964) § 2.(c), 6 U.S. C. § 1131–1136Google Scholar
  62. Williams D, Roggenbuck J, Bange S (1991) The effect of norm encounter compatibility on crowding perceptions, experience, and behavior in river recreation settings. J Leis Res 23:154–172Google Scholar
  63. Winter PL, Jeong WC, Godbey GC (2004) Outdoor recreation among Asian Americans: a case study of San Francisco Bay Area residents. J Park Recreat Adm 22(3):114–136Google Scholar
  64. Yagi C, Pearce B (2007) The influence of appearance and the number of people viewed on tourists’ preferences for seeing other tourists. J Sustain Tour 15(1):28–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Zinn H, Manfredo M, Vaske J, Wittmann K (1998) Using normative beliefs to determine the acceptability of wildlife management actions. Soc Nat Resour Int J 11(7):649–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Selcuk Sayan
    • 1
  • Daniel H. Krymkowski
    • 2
    Email author
  • Robert E. Manning
    • 2
  • William A. Valliere
    • 2
  • Ellen L. Rovelstad
    • 2
  1. 1.Akdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey
  2. 2.The University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations