Factors affecting overall satisfaction with a river recreation experience

Theresa A. Herrick, Cary McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Visitor satisfaction has been a consistently stated goal of outdoor recreation management. Recreation resource managers provide opportunities for the visiting public with the anticipation of satisfying the needs of the visitors. Management efforts are often evaluated in terms of visitor satisfaction. In the recent decade, a multiple satisfactions approach has been the primary research paradigm guiding visitor satisfaction research. This paradigm has focused primarily upon behavioral-type dimensions such as crowding, goal attainment, and resource impacts resulting from behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine the importance of a setting dimension relative to behavioral-type dimensions for explaining differences in visitor satisfaction. A sample of 895 river visitors were sent a questionnaire in the mail; 682 were returned for a 76.2% response rate. Regression analysis indicated the setting dimension was ranked as one of the most important dimensions for explaining differences in visitor satisfaction. Other dimensions considered included group behavior, perceived crowding, parking, past experience, encounters, use levels, and time waiting. Implications for management are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-247
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1992



  • River management
  • Visitor quality
  • Visitor satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution

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