Economic valuation of coastal zone quality improvements
Individuals’ decision to use a particular coastal beach is influenced by their preferences and perceptions as well as beach’s characteristics. This study examines visitors’ attributes and desired site specific characteristics in order to determine the factors affecting willingness to pay for an improvement quality (environment, water as well as recreation activities) program. A contingent valuation survey is carried out in order to evaluate the economic benefits of improving coastal quality of beaches in a coastal line of an area in Central Greece (Volos) where persistent failures to meet the standards of the Blue Flag program are observed. Our empirical findings suggest that the major variables affecting respondents’ willingness to pay were related to income, age, gender, coastal recreational activities and environmental quality of the site as well as to previous environmental behavior and mainly if they had paid for environmental protection in the past.
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