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Segment-based monitoring of domestic and international climbers at Mount Fuji: Targeted risk reduction strategies for existing and emerging visitor segments

Journal Article

Jones TE; Yamamoto K

2016

Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism

13

44121

Expansion and internationalisation of adventure tourism necessitates monitoring of the demographic profile and behaviour of diversifying visitor segments particularly at moderate altitude mountainous destinations where risk management is paramount. This paper compares domestic and international climbers descending from Mount Fuji over two consecutive summer seasons (2011–2012). The study site was located near the 5th station trailhead on Yoshida the busiest of the four Fuji trails. 1416 questionnaires were collected representing 2.5% of the climber population. Findings identified international climbers\\\ profile to be younger and comprise significantly more males but with less experience and less inclined to stay in a mountain hut. Following a multiple regression conducted to predict round-trip climb duration from selected demographic and behavioural variables results showed that citizenship age and staying in a mountain hut added statistically significantly to the prediction (p<.05) and the roundtrip climb duration was 58 min shorter for international climbers. Nonetheless the proportion that successfully summited was identical to domestic climbers. These findings have implications for monitoring existing and emerging visitor segments and practical applications for targeted risk reduction strategies such as “bullet climb” counter-strategies.

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The Liana Ecology Project is supported by Marquette University and funded in part by the National Science Foundation.