COVID-19’s impact on visitation behavior to US national parks from communities of color: evidence from mobile phone data

Charles Alba, Bing Pan, Junjun Yin, William L. Rice, Prasenjit Mitra, Michael S. Lin, Yun Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The widespread COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed many people’s ways of life. With the necessity of social distancing and lock downs across the United States, evidence shows more people engage in outdoor activities. With the utilization of location-based service (LBS) data, we seek to explore how visitation patterns to national parks changed among communities of color during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results show that visitation rates to national parks located closer than 347 km to individuals have increased amidst the pandemic, but the converse was demonstrated amongst parks located further than 347 km from individuals. More importantly, COVID-19 has adversely impacted visitation figures amongst non-white and Native American communities, with visitation volumes declining if these communities are situated further from national parks. Our results show disproportionately low-representations amongst national park visitors from these communities of color. African American communities display a particularly concerning trend whereby their visitation to national parks is substantially lower amongst communities closer to national parks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13398
JournalScientific reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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