The impact of exhibit design on zoo visitor dwell time based on an unobtrusive observational methodology in Central European zoos
Keywords:exhibit features, ungulate, unobtrusive observation, visitor interest
In this study, the effect of different exhibit designs on visitor dwell time was evaluated based on an unobtrusive and covert observation method in Budapest Zoo, Prague Zoo and Sosto Zoo. The time spent showing direct interest toward the species in an exhibit was measured. Observations took place under the criteria of visibility and fixed weather conditions. Exhibits displaying members of Cervidae and Bovidae were investigated to minimise taxonomic and size differences. The results demonstrate a clear difference between the times spent at different exhibits in the zoos. There was no influence of taxonomic group on visitor dwell time. However, the study showed exhibit features that did affect visitor dwell time. Overall, four features appeared to increase dwell time, one decreased dwell time, and seven had no significant influence. This study provides a generalised estimate that can be applied in different geolocations and aimed at visitors with different demographic characteristics. The results will allow zoos to strategically plan the design of their exhibits and use these features to increase visitor interest, although further research is needed to translate this engagement into pro-conservation knowledge and action.
How to Cite
JZAR fulfils the DOAJ definition of open access and provides free and open access to the full text of all content without delay under a Creative Commons licence. The copyright holder of JZAR publications grants usage rights to third parties, allowing for immediate free access to the work and permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles.