Ecotourism has seen both demand and attention increase globally and locally. Dolphin watching tours, as a type of nature-based activity, have become popular in Tai O of Hong Kong. However, little attention has been paid to the quality and pricing of the tour operators in relation to the expectations of visitors. This study seeks to understand the willingness to pay (WTP) of local and non-local visitors and the relationship between WTP and environmentally responsible behavioural intentions (ERBI) and satisfaction. The key findings include a positive correlation between WTP and ERBI for local visitors and a positive correlation between WTP and satisfaction for non-local visitors. These differences between local and non-local visitors are the result of the affective connection of local visitors to the environment, as such connection is not found among non-local visitors. These findings provide important clues to help improve pricing strategies and service quality towards achieving a sustainable ecotourism industry in Hong Kong, and they offer implications for ecotourism elsewhere. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
CitationCheung, L. T. O., Ma, A. T. H., Chow, A. S. Y., Lee, J. C. K., Fok, L., Cheng, I. N. Y., & Cheang, F. C. C. (2019). Contingent valuation of dolphin watching activities in South China: The difference between local and non-local participants. Science of The Total Environment, 684, 340-350. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.276
- Dolphin watching
- Contingent valuation
- Environmental responsible behaviour
- Willingness to pay
- South China