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Planning for national park visitor centres

Frimmel, Sonia
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::050205 Environmental Management , ANZSRC::150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience
The first section of this dissertation looks at the development of New Zealand's national park visitor centres, from simple information supply centres through to complex centres with many roles. These roles are examined further in the second section and have been defined as follows: introductory (orientation), informative, interpretive, promotional, administrative and managerial. These functions can compete against each other unless they have been viewed within an overall planning framework. Additionally, overlaps and inconsistencies can occur between different centres if planning is isolated regionally. The next section discusses the use of a structured planning framework in the design of visitor centres and the need for a hierarchy of planning documention. That is, on site plans need to be consistent with regional and national objectives. Section four describes the importance of evaluation as a part of this planning process. Without evaluation material becomes obsolete, mistakes are repeated and the value of the visitor centre is lost.
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