oa Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences - Tourists' characteristics and willingness to pay to see the Big Five



Tourism is an engine of growth and development in natural areas, but resources need to be protected and that often involves high costs. The opportunity to view Big Five game in their natural habitat is a common good and it is difficult to determine tourists' valuation of the Big Five species and their willingness to pay for their conservation. This exploratory study surveyed tourists visiting the Kruger National Park and asked them about their willingness to pay. The objective is to identify the characteristics of those visitors who will pay to view Big Five game in their natural habitat. The study found that visitors to the Kruger National Park assigned a significant amount (34.64%) of total average spending to the opportunity to view the Big Five in the Kruger National Park. The correlates of willingness to pay for conservation include age, marital status and the importance of the Big Five in the decision to visit the Park.


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