Phil Gaines, retired Director of South Carolina State Parks, returns to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting park visitation and user groups.
While the pandemic has reduced the number of new visitors in national parks, there are still some encouraging trends for park rangers. For instance, while bottom-line attendance may be down, certain demographics like women, youth, and seniors are making more frequent trips to parks.
As Phil explains, though more time is needed to monitor these trends, such patterns are worth statistical analysis as new markets often lead to new activities. Additionally, when you consider disruptive innovations and social media, the stage is set for new crazes to emerge. Like mountain biking, geocaching, and Instagram hotspots the past decade, there will be new rages at some point; hence, why rangers should not be discouraged about temporary retention and focus more on the voice of their audience.
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