Sunday, March 13, 2011

Combining ecological and recreational aspects in national park management: A choice experiment application

Abstract: Increasing pressure to diversify development of national parks emphasizes the need for new and relevant information for park management decisions. In this paper, we use choice experiment to value different tradeoffs that evolved in park development scenarios. Specifically, we examine which kind of development profiles are worth considering and which paths not to follow. We focus on biodiversity and recreational services provided by Oulanka National Park in Finland, which represents a popular recreation site attracting a large number of visitors. The increase of biodiversity was the most highly valued feature by the respondent national park visitors. Thus, our results show that the protection of biodiversity and recreational and tourism use of national parks can cause conflicting welfare effects if managed in inappropriate ways. Increasing the number of visitors, expanding present resting places, constructing new resting places and an intense increase in information boards, especially if combined with shrinking biodiversity, are welfare reducing managerial actions in national parks.

Research Highlights
► We use choice experiment to value tradeoffs in national park development. 
► We calculate visitors' willingness-to-pay values of different attributes.
► We show that national park development can cause conflicting welfare effects. 
► We found clear taste variation between domestic and foreign visitors.

by Artti Juutinena, b, c , Yohei Mitanid , Erkki Mäntymaac , Yasushi Shojie, Pirkko Siikamäkif, 1  and Rauli Sventoa 
a Department of Economics and Martti Ahtisaari Institute of Global Business and Economics, P.O. Box 4600, FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland; Tel.: +358 8 5532911; fax: +358 8 553 2906.
b Thule Institute, P.O. Box 7300, FIN-90014, University of Oulu, Finland
c Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 16, FIN-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland
d UMB School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences P.O. Box 5003, 1432, Ås, Norway
e Laboratory of Forest Policy, Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University Kita 9 Nishi 9, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-8589, Japan
f Oulanka Research Station, Thule-institute, University of Oulu, Liikasenvaarantie 134, FIN-93999, Kuusamo, Finland
Ecological Economics via Elsevier Science Direct
Article in Press, Corrected Proof ,  Available online March 9, 2011

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