|National Parks in Central Europe, which attract millions of visitors annually, are being threatened by a wide variety of negative impacts. In this highly populated region, we find numerous hazards caused by infrastructure, agriculture and tourism. For this reason, preserving the environment is the main goal of the National park authorities. As visitor numbers increase, there is a consequential increase in environmental impacts and conflicts between different visitor groups. In order to balance tourism and conservation and to reduce and minimize negative effects on the ecosystem, authorities implement visitor management strategies. These require specified knowledge about visitor flows, visitor numbers and the main activities undertaken by visitors. Over the past years most european National Parks have adopted periodical visitor monitoring, to gather data about visitor numbers and characteristics. There exists however differences in quality and extent of monitoring programs. With this in mind, we surveyed a number of National Park authorities to gauge their perception of recreation use level, different National Park activities and the application of management tools in the parks. Overall we asked 21 authorities in Austria, Germany and Switzerland to complete a questionnaire which includes questions about current and expected visitor numbers, monitoring of the current recreation use and impacts, measures to control the recreational use, conflicts between nature and tourism and cooperation with other stakeholders in the area. The result of the survey suggests that most of the authorities (81%) simply estimate the recreational use in national park. More than half of authorities anticipate an increase of visitor numbers (especially in National Parks founded in the late 1990s) and none expect that numbers will decrease. They report various suitable protective measures that are in operation and accepted by the National Park visitors. All in all, the authorities consider any negative environmental impacts of visitor activities to be moderate.