The present study aimed at exploring the way in which strategic, planning and operational competencies, necessary to manage tourism and visits in protected areas, relate to the visitor experience design, considering the perceptions from managers and visitors from six Peruvian Natural Protected Areas (NPA). Data were collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews with the managers of the chosen areas. Also, comments made by visitors in TripAdvisor regarding these areas were taken and analyzed using Lexalytics software. Interviews revealed that most competencies were currently taken care of, and this seemed to be confirmed by visitors whose overall experiences in these areas were described in positive terms. However, a few competencies from each group that needed more attention were identified (i.e. negotiation with informal companies, tourism planning for visitor volume control, revenue generation mechanisms to favor local communities, tourism human resources, and marketing and promotional actions). Practical implications for area managers are discussed.
- competency-based management
- data mining
- protected natural areas
- tourism management competencies
- visitor experience design