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Title: Pricing beach congestion: an analysis of the introduction of an access fee to the protected island of Lobos (Canary Islands)
Authors: López del Pino, Francisco 
Grisolía Santos, José María 
UNESCO Clasification: 531290 Economía sectorial: turismo
Keywords: Access fees
Discrete choice model
Likert-type scale
Natural protected areas, et al
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: 1354-8166
Journal: Tourism Economics 
Abstract: There is a growing need for instruments to control and reduce the impacts of the increasing number of tourists visiting protected natural areas. Among these economic instruments, the use of access fees can have positive effects on enhancing environmental sustainability by reducing the number of visitors. Access fees are also a source of financing the management costs of a protected area. Among the negative impacts of tourism, users of beaches perceive congestion as a factor in reducing the final value of the touristic experience. This article analyses the perception of locals of an access fee to enter the small Canary island of Lobos, a protected natural area with high quality beaches, whose quietness is endangered by an increasing number of visitors, clearly exceeding the current carrying capacity. We approached the problem using different tools: firstly, we looked at visitors’ opinions on the website TripAdvisor to identify whether congestion is perceived as a problem; secondly, we carried out an opinion survey using Likert-type scale questions to capture opinions about crowding and pricing; and finally, we used a discrete choice experiment to estimate the willingness to pay (WTP) for accessing the island and reducing congestion. The results reveal a high degree of perception of congestion and the potential of an entrance fee as an effective tool in reducing that congestion and thus generating resources to cover the maintenance costs of the protected area.
ISSN: 1354-8166
DOI: 10.1177/1354816617740065
Source: Tourism Economics [ISSN 1354-8166], v. 24 (4), p. 449-472
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