Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Leisure Research


National Recreation and Parks Association

Publication Date



If participation in recreation activities represents a choice among alternatives, then such discretion may have implications for measuring activity participation. Following is a discussion of the discretionary nature of recreation and the importance of such discretion for use projection which utilizes participation rates. It is proposed that consumer sentiment about the economy at the time participation data are collected is important in evaluating the data and activity projections. The 1960 Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission projections indicated that participation in recreation activities would increase by a factor of three from 1960 to 2000 (13). More recent (1965) statistics published by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation indicate that participation will jump four times from 1960 to 2000. BOR has indicated that these more recent data were collected in a manner comparable with the 1960 data (5). Therefore, it is assumed that the activity increases are due to an increasing propensity to recreate rather than to gross survey errors. Without entirely discounting this assumption, it is possible to offer other explanations which might illuminate the situation. One partial explanation of the increased participation rates is based on the discretionary nature of recreation activities and the associated theory of adaptive consumer behavior.


Copyright 1970 National Recreation and Parks Association