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Title

A COMPARISON OF PUBLIC PREFERENCES AND WILLINGNESS TO PAY OF TOURISTS AND RESIDENTS OF SARI FOR CONSERVATION OF CASPIAN SEA

Pages

 Start Page 135 | End Page 152

Abstract

 The CASPIAN SEA is not only important for residents of the area, it is also important for many around Iran. The present study compares the WILLINGNESS TO PAY (WTP) of residents and TOURISTS for protecting CASPIAN SEA, located in the city of SARI, using CONTINGENT VALUATION method (CVM). To this purpose 800 questionnaires were collected.400 of the questionnaires were randomly distributed among residents of SARI and the rests were collected from the TOURISTS coming to CASPIAN SEA. The results show that the WILLINGNESS TO PAY of these two groups with two variables of age and environmental indicators are different. The results indicate that the average of WILLINGNESS TO PAY for protection of CASPIAN SEA are 229870 and 195170 Rials, respectively. It is also found that the conservation values for each household (2.6 people) are estimated 597700 and 507500 Rials per year. According to the results of the study and the willingness of TOURISTS to pay more money than compared with residents of SARI, it can be concluded that the residents have lost their motivation to protect the CASPIAN SEA and the authorities have to act to protect the sea.

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