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Are tourists willing to pay for decarbonizing tourism? Two applications of indirect questioning in discrete choice experiments

Roberta Raffaelli, Mariangela Franch, Luisa Menapace and Simone Cerroni

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2022, vol. 65, issue 7, 1240-1260

Abstract: The feasibility and efficiency of public policies aimed at decarbonizing tourism also depend on tourists’ attitudes and acceptance. This paper investigates tourists’ preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for decarbonizing strategies applied to transportation and hotel accommodation. Two discrete choice experiments were conducted in the Dolomites area in Italy using direct and indirect question formats. The combination of question formats is proposed as an instrument to reduce hypothetical bias and obtain conservative WTP-range estimates. Results suggest low to zero willingness to pay for the two key attributes: the use of electric trains that produce lower amounts of carbon emissions and the possibility to offset the carbon emissions associated with tourists’ hotel stays. These results indicate the need for new policy interventions to promote forms of public-private partnerships to support public and private investments, increase tourists’ awareness of decarbonizing strategies and foster a move toward more sustainable behaviors.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2021.1918651

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