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The Influences of Place Meanings and Risk Perceptions on Visitors’ Willingness to Pay for Climate Change Adaptation Planning in a Nature-Based Tourism Destination

Allie McCreary, Sandra Fatorić, Erin Seekamp, Jordan W. Smith, Mark Kanazawa, Mae A. Davenport

Abstract


Travel to nature-based tourism (NBT) destinations contributes to the economic vitality of many communities. However, NBT is especially vulnerable to changes in climate, such as shifts in weather patterns, and changes in environmental conditions that can directly influence outdoor recreation experiences. Communities, parks, and protected areas in NBT destinations have started to respond to climate change threats by assessing their adaptive capacity and planning adaptation strategies. Climate adaptation planning within NBT destinations necessitate local support and the leveraging of proximate resources. Yet, strategies to integrate visitors into climate adaptation efforts is not common, even though visitors’ support for climate change planning and policy may be high. Little is known about the relationship between visitors’ support for adaptation planning and their sociodemographic characteristics, their perceptions of climate-related risks, or the meanings they assign to destinations affected by climate change. In this study, we analyze visitors’ personal attributes, trip characteristics, unique emotional ties and perceptions of the places they visit in relation to their willingness-to-pay (WTP) for a license plate that would direct funds toward regional climate adaptation planning. Survey data were collected on-site with NBT visitors and analyzed using binary logistic regression models. Results showed a WTP $30 annually is significantly influenced by increased income, age, climaterelated risk perceptions, and place meanings. Similarly, WTP more than the initial bid (i.e., >$30/year) for climate change adaptation and planning is significantly predicted by increased income and destination loyalty, as well as negative perceptions of climate change risks. This study contributes to a broader understanding of how recreationists and visitors can be incorporated into climate adaptation planning, demonstrating the possibility of a novel funding source.

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Keywords


ecosystem-based tourism; sense of place; pro-environmental behavior; contingent valuation; environmental conditions

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18666/JPRA-2018-V36-I2-8378

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