Willingness-to-Pay and Perceptions of Resort Owners and Tourists/ Scubadivers on Coral Reefs in Verde Passage, Batangas Province, Philippines


Patricia Carla B Jolejole, Nicomedes D Briones
Vol 13 No 1 (2010), pp. 27-34

 

Abstract:

 

Verde Passage is generally considered as the “center of the center of marine shorefish biodiversity” and a critical corridor that is vital to marine-based ecotourism, international shipping, and industrialization in the CALABARZON area. Batangas Province abuts the Verde Passage and it plays a very significant role in the environmental management of the Passage. This study was conducted in the Municipality of Calatagan in 2007 to determine the economic implication of coral conservation through the willingness-to-pay assessment of resort owners and tourists/ scuba divers. The resort owners generally recognized that the coral reefs in Calatagan waters are a significant factor in their resort operations. The tourists/scuba divers, both local and foreigners, mainly viewed the coral reefs as a vital natural resource that support marine life. The willingness-to-pay estimates for coral conservation were PhP 13,667 yr-1 and PhP 735/trip for resort owners and tourists, respectively. Subsequently, the extended benefit-cost analysis showed that investments to conserve the coral reefs would be economically viable. The WTP and BCA figures indicate that the stakeholders of the tourism industry in Calatagan put a high economic value for protecting the environmental integrity of coral reefs of Verde Passage.

 

Keywords: Verde Passage, willingness-to-pay, coral reefs, marine-based tourism, economic costs and benefits, extended benefit-cost analysis


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