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Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1596; doi:10.3390/su9091596

Assessing Tourists’ Preferences for Recreational Trips in National and Natural Parks as a Premise for Long-Term Sustainable Management Plans

1
Department of Economic Sciences, Faculty of Horticulture, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, 3-5 Manastur Street, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2
Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Kentucky, 414 C. E. Barnhart Bldg, Lexington KY 40546, USA
3
Department of Management and Rural Development, Faculty of Agricultural Management, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Timisoara, 119 Calea Aradului, 300645 Timisoara, Romania
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Resources Economics)
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Abstract

Sustainable tourism management plans rely on relevant and consistent information about factors that can influence the decision to visit a protected area. This paper uses the choice experiment method to investigate tourists’ preferences with regard to recreational trip characteristics in national and natural parks in Romania. An on-site survey questionnaire was administered to visitors. The multinomial logit model was employed to investigate the preference orderings of the identified groups of recreational users. Overall, results indicate that tourists gain benefits after visiting the parks. Main preference differences were found for information sources and location of campsites. Visitors who stated that the park was the main trip destination were willing to have access to more information sources, the marks on trails being insufficient. Camping is preferred only in organized places, expressing the concern for environmental protection. The results of this study have management implications, highlighting the importance of assessing tourists’ preferences as a foundation for developing sustainable tourism strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: choice experiments; protected areas; willingness to pay choice experiments; protected areas; willingness to pay
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

Dumitras, D.E.; Muresan, I.C.; Jitea, I.M.; Mihai, V.C.; Balazs, S.E.; Iancu, T. Assessing Tourists’ Preferences for Recreational Trips in National and Natural Parks as a Premise for Long-Term Sustainable Management Plans. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1596.

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