While almost alllocations saw huge increases in the number of visitors during the pandemic, a Penn State study found that over 13% of stopped participating in during the same time.
According to a report, researchers from Pennsylvania State’s Department of, , and Management discovered that almost half of adults all over the U.S. now participate in rec each month and that around 20% could be new to during the pandemic.
The newenthusiasts were demographically similar to those who usually participate in : predominantly white, and with high socioeconomic standing.
However, over 13% ofwho stopped participating in rec during the outbreak were more diverse, were more likely to live in urban settings, and earn less per year than the existing or new recreationists.
“This raises major concerns regarding demographic discrepancies with access and equity,” said B. Derrick Taff, associate professor of, , and tourism management.
“managers and policymakers need to develop policies and programming that foster participation by everyone, especially in their local . Not everyone can afford to to Yellowstone, but everyone deserves access to nature and the associated health benefits of , somewhere close to home.”
He urgedmanagers and policymakers to keep promoting the benefits of to encourage healthy participation.
He also highlighted the importance of ensuring that people feel secure and comfortable and aligning leisure opportunities with people’s preferences for activities and settings.
Andrew Mowen, professor of, and tourist management, and other researchers are investigating how can address racial and social inequities.
Localare free and supposed to be to all; however, people of color are still subject to racism that hinders them from going to . Views of as unsafe or unwelcoming can limit their use and, in turn, limit access to benefits from .
“In, as in the rest of life, people need to feel welcome. Beyond that, they want to feel that they have a voice, that they have some agency. When people get to participate in the decisions about what happens in their , that is when it really begins to feel like a place for them.”