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Economic valuation of recreational attributes using a choice experiment approach: An application to the Galapagos Islands


  • Renato Perez Loyola

    (12399Dalian University of Technology, People’s Republic of China)

  • Erda Wang

    (12399Dalian University of Technology, People’s Republic of China)

  • Nannan Kang

    (12399Dalian University of Technology, People’s Republic of China)


Despite the increasing number of visitors to Galapagos National Park, the tourism industry pays little attention to the distinct preferences of tourists toward park attributes, including both its natural resources and managerial emphasis. To “monetize†the benefits of these attributes requires utilizing nonmarket valuation techniques. Using a stated preference questionnaire, we estimated the economic value of the park’s recreational attributes. The following five attributes were selected: endangered species, prevalence of garbage, site infrastructure, air quality, and entrance fees. The results of this study demonstrate that tourists place the highest willingness to pay values on increased protection of animal species (US$26.9) and garbage reduction (US$111.2). These results highlight the economic contributions for park management, with a potential for value improvement of US$38.1 per tourist if the park’s combined attributes are upgraded from the present condition to the optimum condition.

Suggested Citation

  • Renato Perez Loyola & Erda Wang & Nannan Kang, 2021. "Economic valuation of recreational attributes using a choice experiment approach: An application to the Galapagos Islands," Tourism Economics, , vol. 27(1), pages 86-104, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:toueco:v:27:y:2021:i:1:p:86-104
    DOI: 10.1177/1354816619885236

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