Big Bend Chat
The Big Bend Chat Archives => Big Bend National Park Q&A => Topic started by: MarkB on January 03, 2007, 12:51:56 AM

Does anyone on this board have the official total number of visitors to the park in 2006?
Thanks !
Mark

http://groups.msn.com/bigbendphotos

Does anyone on this board have the official total number of visitors to the park in 2006?
Statistics like this come from the agency and usually are released well into the following year, if not the year after that.
Realize that any 'official' count is nothing more than an estimate or best guess. There is no way to account for every single person that enters the park. There is a tendency for all such counts to be somewhat inflated to 'adjust' for the ones that were missed.
How can this be? Well, consider that not everyone goes into a visitor center, where they could perhaps be counted. Also people can enter the park when the scenery taxation (that would be entry) booths are closed. When I arrive after hours and go into the visitor center the next day to get my car tag, I've never, ever had anyone ask how many rode with me.
If traffic counters are used, there is a 'people per car' factor used to determine total number of riders. The accuracy of such 'average occupancy' multipliers depends entirely upon the diligence of the people collecting the data to arrive at accurate figures. There is again a tendency to use a higher factor than is actually the case because it is very labor intensive to collect this kind of data across all seasons and use pattern situations.
Probably the most accurate indicator, but far from accounting for everyone, are the revenues collected from people who do not have some form of pass to enter the park. Those fees can be accurately tracked as a total that goes up or down each year depending upon any number of circumstances, but it in no way reflects accurately the total visitation for the park.

December numbers should be available and posted on the website within two weeks. You can see the other eleven months and several other years worth of monthly numbers on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/bibe/parkmgmt/visit_stats.htm (http://www.nps.gov/bibe/parkmgmt/visit_stats.htm)
Computation methods used to generate that number can be found at http://www2.nature.nps.gov/stats/pdf/bibeci1993.pdf (http://www2.nature.nps.gov/stats/pdf/bibeci1993.pdf)
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Computation methods used to generate that number can be found at http://www2.nature.nps.gov/stats/pdf/bibeci1993.pdf (http://www2.nature.nps.gov/stats/pdf/bibeci1993.pdf)
Very interesting. Thank you for the info. How often is 'ground truthing' done?

Computation methods used to generate that number can be found at http://www2.nature.nps.gov/stats/pdf/bibeci1993.pdf (http://www2.nature.nps.gov/stats/pdf/bibeci1993.pdf)
Very interesting. Thank you for the info. How often is 'ground truthing' done?
Just in case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_truth

Computation methods used to generate that number can be found at http://www2.nature.nps.gov/stats/pdf/bibeci1993.pdf (http://www2.nature.nps.gov/stats/pdf/bibeci1993.pdf)
Very interesting. Thank you for the info. How often is 'ground truthing' done?
Just in case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_truth
I assume that means having someone sit out there and count cars/passengers as they drive in. I know someone who used to do that as a contractor for the Texas Highway Dept (aka TxDOT) around the state, usually on sparsely travelled roads. I hope it paid well. :?

Thanks Eric. Looking forward to those numbers in a few weeks.

Around 300K; I like it. It's been getting a little crowded the last couple of years.