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Assessment of the Economic Value of Ecological Conservation of the Kenting Coral Reef

Chun-Hung Lee (), Yun-Ju Chen () and Chu-Wei Chen ()
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Chun-Hung Lee: Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, College of Environmental Studies, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien 97401, Taiwan
Yun-Ju Chen: Department of Applied Economics, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung City 402, Taiwan
Chu-Wei Chen: Department of Applied Economics, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung City 402, Taiwan

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 20, 1-1

Abstract: Sightseeing and recreation have become prevalent in the Kenting coral reef area. However, coral reefs in Kenting are being severely bleached at an increasing rate under the influence of excessive human activities and climate change that have necessitated stronger conservation policies by the government. Based on a random utility model for coral ecology conservation, the preferences and willingness-to-pay (WTP) values of diving, fishing, and sightseeing visitors are analyzed. Empirical results show that: (1) increasing living coral coverage, improving water quality, restricting the number of daily visitors, increasing biodiversity, increasing the ratio of marine protected areas, and reducing the coral reef’s conservation fund will improve the overall utility of Kenting for visitors; (2) the WTP values significantly vary with respondents’ socioeconomic background and travel behaviors; (3) the results of a latent class model (LCM) also show that the two groups with different coral conservation preferences and WTP values have different socioeconomic backgrounds and travel behaviors.

Keywords: coral ecology; marine protected area; choice experiment; willingness-to-pay; coral reefs conservation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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