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Abstract

Examines visitor attitudes and whether visitors are willing to pay to enter Lamington National Park and under what circumstances they would do so. First a sample of visitors is asked a general (normative) question as to whether visitors should pay to visit Lamington National Park and in another question (positive) they are asked whether they would be more willing to pay if the money collected would be invested in the park to improve visitor facilities and for conservation work. The results show that visitors are more willing to accept the ‘user-pays’ principle if the money will be used for the benefit of the national park and its visitors. It was found that foreigners are more in support for a ‘user-pay’ fee than Australians, and among Australians, those visitors from Queensland are the least willing to accept the idea of a user-pay fee to enter the park. The results indicate that if visitors can be shown the benefits (both for visitors and for conservation) of charging an entry fee, then visitors are more likely to support such a concept than when they are unaware of the benefits of a user-fee. The study shows that on average foreigners are willing to pay more than Australians. Finally, the regression results identify significant factors influencing visitors’ attitudes and suggested amounts to visit the national park.

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