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Hospitality and tourism management professor examines visitor satisfaction, experience in state park

Monday, December 6, 2010 / Bookmark & Share

Vincent Magnini, assistant professor of hospitality and tourism management in the Pamplin College of Business, has received a $75,000 award from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to analyze visitor satisfaction in each of the 35 state parks over the next five years.

Magnini says his study will assess all major dimensions of visitors’ park experiences. His research tools will include data mining techniques “to detect non-obvious, yet managerially relevant, patterns in the data.” He will provide regular feedback to the Virginia State Parks Division regarding the performance of each park, along with an annual report.

Virginia’s state parks received more than 7.5 million visitors in 2009, according to the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Its website notes that state parks provide outdoor recreation opportunities; are places where natural and cultural treasures are conserved; and are an important contributor to the state’s economy, “generating more than $170 million in economic activity annually.”

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