Title: Will tourists pay for a healthy environment? Assessing visitors' perceptions and willingness to pay for conservation and preservation in the island of Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Authors: Rachel Dodds

Addresses: Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3, Canada

Abstract: This paper seeks to profile the views and characteristics of travellers to Koh Phi Phi, an island in southwestern Thailand. The island is facing many issues of environmental and social degradation as a result of tourism related over-development. Using individual surveys, visitors were probed to determine their attitudes towards sustainability in Koh Phi Phi and their potential willingness to pay to preserve its environment. The study concludes that travellers are prepared to take responsibility and to pay to help prevent further degradation of the island. The majority of visitors believe tourists should be a key stakeholder in the preservation and protection and are willing to pay an additional tax for this purpose. It is also noteworthy that visitors' willingness to pay for environmental improvements varied only marginally based on travellers' income levels, although the average amount that travellers were willing to pay increased for those with higher income.

Keywords: Thailand; tourist motivations; sustainable tourism; Koh Phi Phi; island tourism; tourism development; visitor perceptions; willingness to pay; conservation; environmental preservation; Thailand; sustainability; environmental improvement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2013.054407

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2013 Vol.3 No.1, pp.28 - 42

Available online: 07 Jun 2013 *

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