Expectations and Recreation Fees: A Dilemma for Recreation Resource Administrators


  • Cary D. McDonald
  • Frank P. Noe
  • William E. Hammitt


willingness to pay, visitor fees, recreation fees, cost-benefit, exchange theory.


An expanded fee program may be one alternative means of financing public recreation, although such a program may have negative consequences for administrators. Visitors may expect more benefits as fees increase. The logic of exchange theoryand cost-benefit analysis was used to examine the hypothesis that the amount of money an individual would be willing to pay for a visitor fee (cost) is positively related to the desire for additional services/facilities/programs (benefits). Over 300 visitors completed a mail questionnaire assessing their willingness to pay and preference for development. Response rate was 89. I percent. Findings indicated a weak relationship between willingness to pay and preference for development. A relationship was found for visitors only in the high fee group, those visitors willing to pay $5.00 or more. No relationship was present for the low and medium fee groups. Possibly, administrators may be able to have a low to moderate fee without visitors desiring additional benefits.?





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