Ecotourism Demand and Differential Pricing of National Park Access in Costa Rica
Ecotourism presents developing countries with growing opportunities for enhancing resource conservation and economic growth, but also raises pressing management and policy challenges. This paper presents a conceptual framework and empirical analysis of the impacts of introducing a differential entrance fee policy at three national parks in Costa Rica. Data are collected using a contingent behavior methodology designed to elicit information on foreign tourists' hypothetical park visitation behaviors at alternative entrance fee levels. Park visitation demand functions and price and income elasticities are estimated. Revenue-maximizing fees are calculated and applications of differential pricing principles to park management are discussed.
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