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Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1240; doi:10.3390/su8121240

Are Tourists Really Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Destinations?

Department of Economics, University of Jaén, Campus de Las Lagunillas, s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ioppolo
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

The understanding of pro-sustainable behavior and its true economic implications is an important subject for tourism destination marketers and policymakers, especially given that limited research has focused on the economic implications of tourist preferences for more sustainable destinations. Following the identification of three different demand segments using the concept of “sustainable intelligence” (level of commitment, attitude, knowledge and/or behavior with regard to sustainability), this study hypothesizes that the tourist segment with high level of “sustainable intelligence” (called “pro-sustainable tourist”) is willing to pay more to visit a more sustainable destination. The main aim of this paper is to use the logistic regression model to estimate the premium price that each segment is willing to pay to visit a sustainable destination. This paper reports the result of a willingness to pay study using data from 1118 respondents visiting the Western Costa del Sol (Andalusia, Spain), a mature sun-and-sand destination that is currently facing several developmental challenges supposedly associated with sustainability. The results obtained from this research study indicate that the tourist segment with high levels of “sustainable intelligence” is willing to pay more to visit a more sustainable tourism destination. However, there is little willingness to pay if the destination’s commitment to sustainability increases the price of the tourism product (26.6% of respondents). View Full-Text
Keywords: willingness to pay; sustainable intelligence; pro-sustainable tourist; sustainability; destination management; Western Costa del Sol (Spain) willingness to pay; sustainable intelligence; pro-sustainable tourist; sustainability; destination management; Western Costa del Sol (Spain)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pulido-Fernández, J.I.; López-Sánchez, Y. Are Tourists Really Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Destinations? Sustainability 2016, 8, 1240.

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