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Ecological Restoration of a Coastal Wetland at a Mass Tourism Destination. Will the Recreational Value Increase or Decrease?

Josep Pueyo-Ros, Xavier Garcia, Anna Ribas and Rosa M. Fraguell

Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 148, issue C, 1-14

Abstract: The ecological restoration of coastal wetlands is vital to preserving the integrity of these valuable ecosystems. However, the implementation of ecological restoration should also consider its potential negative effects. This study aimed to evaluate the socioeconomic value of the ecological restoration of a coastal wetland at a mass tourism destination on Costa Brava (Spain). To achieve this objective, 1) we developed a pooled model that combined travel costs and contingent behavior (TC + CB) to assess the influence of ecological restoration on the destination's recreational value, and 2) we performed a cluster analysis and post hoc comparisons after obtaining visitor profiles to understand how restoration influences tourists' contingent behavior. The results of the TC + CB model indicated that wetland recreational value is not significantly affected by restoration. The cluster analysis identified three visitor profiles (Indifference, Recreation and Preservation) with unique attitudes toward the wetland and its ecological restoration. These visitor profiles exhibit differences between actual and contingent visiting rates. Notably, the wetland's recreational value will be altered in opposite directions by ecological restoration. Visitors attracted by the natural setting will visit more often, whereas visitors who use the wetland for recreational purposes will tend to visit less often.

Keywords: Ecological restoration; Wetlands; Tourism; Contingent behavior; Travel cost; Ecosystem services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:1-14