Willingness To Pay For Environmental Preservation By Ecotourism-Linked Businesses: Evidence From The Caribbean Windward Islands
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the willingness of businesses directly dependent on ecotourism to pay for the protection of the environmental assets marketed as "ecotourism products." The open-ended contingent valuation method was employed to elicit willingness to pay (WTP) in the four Windward Islands of the Caribbean with respect to organizational, economic and policy characteristics of the respondents. Most of the businesses were relatively small, with gross annual revenue less the EC $250,000 (US $92,251). The following profile for a firm willing to pay for environmental amenities and services was drawn from this study: smaller businesses with highly educated persons in management who are in direct contact with ecotourism sites, have previously contributed to environmental causes but are not members of environmental/ecological organizations, and are fully Caribbean owned. Government policymakers and tourism officials of the Windward Islands can use such profile information in designing training and environmental awareness programs and targeting stakeholders who can most benefit from such programs.
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