A strategic issue facing many developing economies is the maintenance of natural resources, which are important in ecological terms as well as for providing income from tourism. This paper presents an analysis of the economic value of marine protected areas in the Seychelles. The contingent valuation method (CVM) is used to determine tourists willingness to pay (WTP) for visits to Seychelles' marine national parks. In addition, attitudinal and motivational data are related to respondents' stated economic preferences. Three hundred interviews were conducted in the Seychelles during June 1998 and both tourists having visited a park and a more general population of tourists were surveyed. The results demonstrate that different economic values are predicted for respondents from different countries who display a range of both consumer and citizen behaviour in constructing their preferences. In addition, significantly different WTP amounts are predicted depending on which particular marine parks are visited, and the expectations of visitors to Seychelles. The discussion focuses on exploring how this information may be of use to policy makers in setting a realistic pricing policy for visitors to Marine National Parks in the Seychelles.
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