Karst caves are widespread in Europe, especially in the Mediterranean area. Besides their purely environmental functions, they often are important tourist destinations and contribute to the so-called identity amenities or landscape beauties of a territory. In spite of their interest and tourism potential, economists have paid little attention to karst caves and their economic value. In this paper, the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) was applied to investigate tourists’ preferences and estimate the monetary value attributed to karst caves, and in particular to the Pradis Caves, Friuli Venezia Giulia region (Italy). 540 visitors of the area took part in a face-to-face contingent valuation survey. Mean willingness-to-pay was equal to € 5.37. When scaled up to the population, gross social benefit was estimated in about € 23K/year. Findings suggest that the karst cave value could have a significant impact on the social welfare gains or losses, and inform the karst cave-use management debate concerning the trade-offs of developing tourism activities. The estimated values allow institutional decision makers to identify the volume of financial resources to be put into play for interventions aimed at protection and conservation of this environmental asset.

Social economic benefits of an underground heritage: measuring willingness to pay for karst caves in Italy / Benedetto, G; Carzedda, M; Marangon, F; Madau F., A; Troiano, S. - In: GEOHERITAGE. - ISSN 1867-2485. - (2022).

Social economic benefits of an underground heritage: measuring willingness to pay for karst caves in Italy

Benedetto G
Conceptualization
;
Marangon F
Validation
;
Madau F. A
Validation
;
2022

Abstract

Karst caves are widespread in Europe, especially in the Mediterranean area. Besides their purely environmental functions, they often are important tourist destinations and contribute to the so-called identity amenities or landscape beauties of a territory. In spite of their interest and tourism potential, economists have paid little attention to karst caves and their economic value. In this paper, the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) was applied to investigate tourists’ preferences and estimate the monetary value attributed to karst caves, and in particular to the Pradis Caves, Friuli Venezia Giulia region (Italy). 540 visitors of the area took part in a face-to-face contingent valuation survey. Mean willingness-to-pay was equal to € 5.37. When scaled up to the population, gross social benefit was estimated in about € 23K/year. Findings suggest that the karst cave value could have a significant impact on the social welfare gains or losses, and inform the karst cave-use management debate concerning the trade-offs of developing tourism activities. The estimated values allow institutional decision makers to identify the volume of financial resources to be put into play for interventions aimed at protection and conservation of this environmental asset.
Social economic benefits of an underground heritage: measuring willingness to pay for karst caves in Italy / Benedetto, G; Carzedda, M; Marangon, F; Madau F., A; Troiano, S. - In: GEOHERITAGE. - ISSN 1867-2485. - (2022).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11388/297848
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