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