With demand increasing for nature-based tourism, forest park authorities and site managers need to understand the trade-off between the level of natural wilderness protection and the visitor experience. The authors use a choice experiment to examine which kind of development profiles are worth considering and which paths not to follow. They focus on the mixed attributes of natural resources and historical relics, and the management services provided by Lushunkou National Forest Park in China, which is a popular recreation site attracting a large number of visitors annually. The results indicate that the expected number of visitors to the park is the most important characteristic for visitors. However, a large increase or decrease in the number of visitors causes visitors' welfare losses. Additionally, increasing the protection of the cultural and historical relics on the site is the second most highly valued feature for its visitors. Thus, the results show that the protection of forest wilderness and the recreational use of national parks can cause conflicting welfare effects if managed in inappropriate ways.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management