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Saving Thailand's Temple: How much are people willing to pay?

  • Udomsak Seenprachawong


    (School of Development Economics, National Institute of Development Administration)

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    Ancient temples are among Southeast Asia's most important cultural artifacts. They are priceless in terms of their historical and religious importance. They are also vital foreign currency earners as key destinations for tourists. Unfortunately, many temples are in poor condition and deteriorating. One of the key challenges across the region is how to finance the conservation of this cultural heritage. This study from Thailand has looked at how much Thais would be willing to pay (WTP) to conserve the nation's temples. It finds that, on average, individuals would be willing to make a one-time payment of ZOO Baht (USD 5.30), either as a tax surcharge or as a voluntary donation to finance a preservation program for ten historic temples. Extrapolating these results nationally, it finds that this would produce more than enough money to finance a temple conservation program. The study also proposes the main elements of a national program to preserve historic temples in Thailand.

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    Paper provided by Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA) in its series EEPSEA Policy Brief with number pb2006124.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2006
    Date of revision: Dec 2006
    Handle: RePEc:eep:pbrief:pb2006124
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