Visitors’ willingness to pay marine conservation fees in Barbados
Human development and dense populations along coastal zones impact the health of coastal and marine ecosystems, which is detrimental to the economic sustainability of tourism. Visitors to Barbados are primarily attracted to the country's coastal and marine resources, making the protection of the marine environment paramount. In developing countries with limited resources for environmental management, who pays the cost of conservation, and the amount, has been the subject of much debate. We apply parametric and non-parametric estimations to investigate the factors driving the willingness of tourists to pay a fee for coastal and marine conservation. The mean willingness to pay ranged from US$36 to US$52 per visit to Barbados. Based on general consensus, we suggest that such a fee if implemented should be paid into a dedicated conservation fund. Furthermore, consideration should be given to charging only non-Caribbean tourists given that regional visitors displayed discontent in paying such fees.