Increasingly there is a call for appropriate management policies to be implemented in national parks to minimize the impacts of tourism on both ecosystems and recreational settings. One facet of such problems is that of traffic congestion as car ownership grows. This study applies a traffic Cellular Automaton Model (CAM) as a decision support tool to ease traffic congestion at Shiretoko National Park in Japan. Despite serious traffic congestion having been reported in the park, a new guiding system and the regulation of private car use was started in the same year. This study shows that a probable increase in traffic congestion can be expected after the introduction of these new management systems, but congestion can be relieved by a slight modification of the temporal and spatial daily inflow of visitors. This study highlights the benefits of computational modeling to support decision-making regarding traffic management in protected areas.
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