Variation in the demand for scarce recreational resources can easily lead to crowding with unpleasant consequences for visitors and poses significant challenges to recreational resource managers. Previous research on individuals' response to crowding has mainly focused on how individuals cope with crowding at the moment that they experience it. The current paper adds to this literature by investigating in a formal modeling framework if and how visitors anticipate to crowding by taking into account other individuals' expected timing choices. We study individuals' anticipation of crowding and their resulting visit timing choices by using a game theoretical structure and response equilibrium. Results from two experiments in different contexts provide insight into how individuals incorporate strategic considerations regarding crowding in their visit timing decisions. They indicate that individuals anticipate strategically on other visitors' timing decisions, but also that they may take into account their own crowding anticipations only to a limited extent when making their timing choices.

Access timing, Crowding, Individual decision model, Scarce recreation resources, Strategic choice behaviour,
ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services: forging the link between research and practice
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Han, Q, Dellaert, B.G.C, van Raaij, W.F, & Timmermans, H.J.P. (2010). Visitors' strategic anticipation of crowding in scarce recreational resources. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services: forging the link between research and practice, 17(6), 449–456. doi:10.1016/j.jretconser.2010.06.001