Visitor categorisation is a complex and dynamic research area since visitor actions are highly subjective and in constant process of change (Doran et al., 2014; Arnegger et al., 2010; McCabe, 2005). Management organisations benefit from simple visitor categorisation to better predict and sustain visitor satisfaction (Horner, 2016; Stanford, 2014). Considering the case study of the Peak District National Park (PDNP), two distinct groups are identified: day visitors and staying visitors. This research explores the significance of differentiating visitor groups beyond this simple taxonomy.
The research methods selected include a questionnaire to compare day visitors and staying visitors in the PDNP. This questionnaire was designed to determine whether day visitors could be seen as a unique visitor group. In addition, the method of interviews and a focus group were necessary to explore the limitations of using simplistic visitor categorisation. The results of this research found that one distinct visitor category, day visitors, is too generalised since diverse differences exist within the day visitor category. In response, this study devised its own day visitor categories that emerged from the data. These categories indicated that, without appreciating day visitors in detail, the social and environmental significance of this group for tourist destinations will always be overlooked.