Factors contributing to perceptions of recreational crowding

Robert B. Ditton, Anthony J. Fedler, Alan R. Graefe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


This paper examines perceptions of crowding in a river recreation setting, using an alternative to the conventional crowding measure and a diverse set of potential predictor variables that have not been examined concurrently in previous studies. Analysis focuses on differences between three groups of respondents: Crowded floaters, whose enjoyment was reduced by encounters with other people; neutral floaters; and those floaters whose enjoyment was increased by the visitor density they encountered. Findings support some previous arguments that crowding is related more to visitors’ expectations, preferences, and previous experience than to actual or perceived encounter levels. Further, perceptions of crowding were found to be related to encounter expectations and preferences at specific river locations (e.g., at put‐in and rapids) and to perceptions of other aspects of trip quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-288
Number of pages16
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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