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Visitors’ preferences for landscape conservation in Alpine environments:Differences across regions, conservation programmes, and socio-economic groups

Michael Getzner

Landscape Research, 2020, vol. 45, issue 4, 503-519

Abstract: In many regions, the scenic beauty of landscapes, and a high degree of ‘naturalness’, are paramount for tourism. The focus of the paper is on empirical estimates of the benefits of nature conservation programs in regard to different degrees of naturalness in two regions in the Austrian Alps. The results of an on-site survey indicate that most respondents would accept stricter nature conservation policies including restrictions of access to ecologically sensitive areas. The respondents indicated a willingness to pay of at least EUR 1.50 per person a night for improved conservation programs. The results suggest that these tourists not only prefer policies that improve naturalness, they actually expect them. It should be noted that the preferences of tourists differ between regions, as well as socio-economic attributes. The concept of the degree of naturalness may facilitate the transfer of benefits to other regions.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/01426397.2019.1677881

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