【Title】Nature Experience, Recreation Activity and Health Benefits of Visitors in Mountain and Urban Forests in Vienna, Zurich and Freiburg
【Author】Ju-hyoung LEE1; Duk-jae LEE2
【Addresses】1 Department of Forest Resources, Faculty of Natural Resources, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan 38541, South Korea; 2 Department of Forest Resources, College of Life & Environmental Science, Daegu University, Gyeongsan 38453, South Korea
【Citation】Lee JH, Lee DJ (2015) Nature experience, recreation activity and health benefits of visitors in mountain and urban forests in Vienna, Zurich and Freiburg. Journal of Mountain Science 12(6). DOI: 10.1007/s11629-014-3246-3
【Abstract】Mountain forests are managed for various purposes. Of these, recreation, leisure, and eco-tourism are increasingly gaining prominence. Yet, with the development of new techniques for creating and managing urban forests, the perception of the public with regard to mountain forests and such urban forests is narrowing. For the purpose of this study, eight mountain forests and urban forests located in Zurich (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria) and Freiburg (Germany) were shortlisted. These places are renowned for their well-functioning management of mountain forests and creation of urban forests. As the study was to focus on the comparison of the perceptions of visitors in terms of their satisfaction in urban and mountain forests, the interview covered the following questions: (i) how satisfactory was the nature experience; (ii) how satisfactory were the outdoor recreational activities; (iii) whether the nature experiences influenced the mental and physical health of visitors. Responses thus received for each of the mountain forests and urban forests were assessed, with the total number of respondents being 247. Tourists visiting the selected areas were randomly chosen for a one-on-one interview survey. Results of the survey show that there is a clear perceptions of visitors differed between urban and mountain forests. However, the gap is insignificant or almost nonexistent with respect to satisfaction level of outdoor recreational activities and health benefits. These results are contrary to the findings of previous studies, which argued that the natural landscape of mountain areas is superior to other artificially built green spaces. Visitors did not perceive significant differences in outdoor recreational activities and health effects between the two spaces.
【Keywords】Europe;Satisfaction;Outdoor recreation;Interview survey;Preference