JDR Vol.19 No.2 pp. 359-369
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2024.p0359


Visitors’ Attitudes Toward the Expansion of Alternative Shuttle Bus System in Shiretoko National Park

Tetsuya Aikoh*,† ORCID Icon, Satoshi Yahiro**, Yasushi Shoji* ORCID Icon, and Hyerin Kim* ORCID Icon

*Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University
Kita 9, Nishi 9, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-8589, Japan

Corresponding author

**Chugoku-Shikoku Regional Environment Office, Ministry of the Environment
Okayama, Japan

October 5, 2023
December 6, 2023
April 1, 2024
World Natural Heritage, alternative transportation, shuttle bus, choice experiment, visitor attitude

In some natural parks, introducing a shuttle bus system as an alternative to private cars can help reduce congestion and protect nature. This study examines the pilot program to effectively induce visitors to switch to the shuttle bus, while examining the visitors’ understanding of the expansion of the restricted vehicle section in Shiretoko National Park—a World Natural Heritage site known for its rich natural resources, especially as a high-density habitat for brown bears. There are concerns about conflicts between visitors and brown bears that appear along roads. Visitor restrictions, such as limited access to transportation, limit the use of a place and alter the behavior and experience. Therefore, careful consideration is needed before introducing visitor restrictions. The results of our questionnaire survey of visitors indicated that most favored the expansion of the shuttle bus section. The choice experiment revealed that the guides on the bus and an optional experience encouraged visitors to switch to the shuttle buses. Nonetheless, awareness of the pilot program was low, and some visitors preferred their cars, indicating the need for further promotion of awareness and understanding of these new measures.

Cite this article as:
T. Aikoh, S. Yahiro, Y. Shoji, and H. Kim, “Visitors’ Attitudes Toward the Expansion of Alternative Shuttle Bus System in Shiretoko National Park,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.19 No.2, pp. 359-369, 2024.
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Last updated on Apr. 05, 2024