This study investigated the travel motivations of visitors to a geopark and their willingness to pay (WTP) for an accredited geo-guided tour by employing the contingent valuation method (CVM). Questionnaire surveys were administered at the geological sites of Hong Kong Global Geopark of China, and 310 completed questionnaires were collected. The results showed that the geopark visitors were willing to pay a price premium for the accredited geo-guided tour: They were willing to pay an average HK$165.3 for the accredited tour, which is HK$34.5 higher than the price that they were willing to pay for the non-accredited counterpart. The results further suggested that the geopark visitors were motivated by four factors: ‘novelty seeking’, ‘enjoyment’, ‘social interaction’ and ‘escaping’. Three of these motivational factors were found to be significantly associated with visitors’ WTP. The empirical study reveals a number of unexplored areas in the field of geotourism research, and the findings could be used by geotour operators to evaluate their pricing policies and to identify potential geopark visitors who would be interested in and willing to pay for accredited geo-guided tours. In addition, the results could be important for organisations implementing an accreditation system to facilitate the evaluation of the role of such a system in geopark visitors’ choice of geotourism services or products. Copyright © 2015 The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage.
CitationCheung, L. T. O. (2016). The effect of geopark visitors’ travel motivations on their willingness to pay for accredited geo-guided tours. Geoheritage, 8(3), 201-209.
- Accredited geo-guided tours
- Hong Kong