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Water 2017, 9(1), 2; doi:10.3390/w9010002

Willingness-To-Pay for Improving Marine Biodiversity: A Case Study of Lastovo Archipelago Marine Park (Croatia)

1
Department of Spatial Planning, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna 1040, Austria
2
E.C.O. Institute of Ecology, Klagenfurt 9020, Austria
3
Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development–SUNCE, Split 21000, Croatia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kevin B. Strychar
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 19 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
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Abstract

The sustainable financing of marine protected areas is still an important issue on the conservation agenda even in European countries with strong governance and regulatory frameworks. With the example of the Lastovo Archipelago Marine Park in Croatia, this paper discusses options for funding based on visitors’ willingness-to-pay to conserve marine biodiversity. The site is attractive to general tourists coming by ferries and sailors with private boats alike, which is at the same time a challenge and an opportunity for designing an efficient and effective funding scheme. The authors investigate the willingness-to-pay (WTP) of these two groups of visitors for the conservation of characteristic habitats and species based on the visualization of three different scenarios. In the statistical analysis, the authors find a significant WTP that could contribute to the long-term management and financing of the site, taking into account the perceptions and attitudes of the different groups of tourists. All in all, this study provides several conclusions for levying entry fees depending on a segmentation of tourists with respect to their preferences, behavior, socio-economic characteristics, and alternative destinations. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine protected areas; marine biodiversity; willingness-to-pay; conservation management; biodiversity; preferences; eco-tourism; sustainable tourism marine protected areas; marine biodiversity; willingness-to-pay; conservation management; biodiversity; preferences; eco-tourism; sustainable tourism
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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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Getzner, M.; Jungmeier, M.; Špika, M. Willingness-To-Pay for Improving Marine Biodiversity: A Case Study of Lastovo Archipelago Marine Park (Croatia). Water 2017, 9, 2.

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