JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2019, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (1): 40-53.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20190104

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Realisation of recreation in national parks: A perspective of ecosystem services demand and willingness to pay of tourists in Wuyishan Pilot

Si-yuan HE1(), Yang SU2, Lei WANG3, Hong-guang CHENG4   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Development Research Center of the State Council, Beijing 100013, China
    3. World Wide Fund For Nature Beijing Office, Beijing 100037, China
    4. School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2018-08-10 Revised:2018-11-21 Online:2019-01-20 Published:2019-01-20

Abstract:

China's national parks aim to promote conservation and improve public welfare. This research took tourists as one of the key ecosystem services beneficiaries. It used an ecosystem services approach to identify social perceptions and willingness to pay regarding different ecosystem services in the Wusyishan National Park Pilot, in order to find ways to optimise tourism to promote conservation and to improve public welfare in the establishment of the national park system. A social survey was conducted using questionaires focusing on the assessment of the importance of ecosystem services and the willingness to pay, and the data were analysed using weighted scoring, multiple correspondence analysis and optimal scaling regression. Results showed that most respondents recognised the importance of various cultural services, including eco-tourism which is high in practicality, activities to have cultural experience which is rather abstract and enjoying the beautiful scenery; however, there were trade-offs among specific ecosystem services. Tourists thought highly of maintaining air quality and it was the only regulating service that ranked the top five. In addition, they did not choose any provisioning services among the top five important ecosystem services. Under the entry tickets fee waiver hypothesis, more than 90% respondents were willing to pay for maintainance of the ecosystem services, but the average payment of 165.9 yuan/person was less than current ticket price. Willingness to pay was significantly affected by education level and career; together with the impact of age and personal income, clustered groups with certain willingness to pay were identified. These findings indicate that in the development of tourism in national parks, managers should focus on securing typical cultural ecosystem services regarding trade-offs in demand from different tourist groups. They also should improve the public's awareness of the chracteristics of ecosystems to facilitate their active participation in conservation.

Key words: national park, ecosystem services, willingness to pay, Wusyishan