Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, tourist destinations have been increasingly selected on the basis of health, safety and social distancing criteria. In this framework, protected natural areas represent ideal tourist destinations due to the presence of wide and open spaces, services for tourists and attention to nature. The present paper focused on accessible tourism, a subset of sustainable tourism that is increasingly gaining greater importance within the tourism sector. By applying the Contingent Valuation Method, the study investigated whether potential tourists are effectively willing to pay extra money to be granted more accessible facilities in a natural area. To this end, a logit model was estimated to determine the probability that tourists exhibit a higher WTP for accessible tourism facilities. The analysis was carried out in the Gargano National Park, Southern Italy, an area traditionally characterised by large tourist flows that have increased further during the recent pandemic. The results showed that only a limited percentage of the respondents are willing to pay a higher amount for improved accessibility. These results represent an interesting starting point to outline an adequate strategy for the tourism valorisation of the natural area.

Are Potential Tourists Willing to Pay More for Improved Accessibility? Preliminary Evidence from the Gargano National Park

Sica E.;Sisto R.;Di Santo N.
2022

Abstract

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, tourist destinations have been increasingly selected on the basis of health, safety and social distancing criteria. In this framework, protected natural areas represent ideal tourist destinations due to the presence of wide and open spaces, services for tourists and attention to nature. The present paper focused on accessible tourism, a subset of sustainable tourism that is increasingly gaining greater importance within the tourism sector. By applying the Contingent Valuation Method, the study investigated whether potential tourists are effectively willing to pay extra money to be granted more accessible facilities in a natural area. To this end, a logit model was estimated to determine the probability that tourists exhibit a higher WTP for accessible tourism facilities. The analysis was carried out in the Gargano National Park, Southern Italy, an area traditionally characterised by large tourist flows that have increased further during the recent pandemic. The results showed that only a limited percentage of the respondents are willing to pay a higher amount for improved accessibility. These results represent an interesting starting point to outline an adequate strategy for the tourism valorisation of the natural area.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/415342
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