An Application of the CHAID Algorithm to Study the Environmental Impact of Visitors to the Teide National Park in Tenerife, Spain

  •  Flora Diaz-Perez    
  •  Mª Bethencourt-Cejas    


The significant and complex relationship between visitor numbers to a national park and the environment calls for appropriate policies to be adopted. This paper analyzes the relationship from the perspective of visitors to the Teide National Park (TNP) in Tenerife, aiming to establish strategies to reduce visitors' environmental impacts. This is particularly important as the TNP, with over 3,000,000 visitors in 2015, is the most visited park in Spain and one of the most visited in Europe. An empirical study was conducted during 2016 resulting in 805 valid questionnaires. A CHAID algorithm was then applied to segment visitors according to criterion variables. Findings show the first segmenting variable is transport type, with the car being the most frequently used by visitors. Specifically, the visitor segment coming by car is also associated with the longest stays in the TNP. Regarding the practical and social implications, it is assumed the longer the stay, the greater the environmental impact. These results highlight the need for new transport strategies for the park with improved, less polluting vehicles.

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