The management of the coastal park environment is a major ecological and economic development issue. In developing effective policies, relevant information is essential, especially the economic valuation of various recreation-related environmental attributes. This study used Dalian coastal parks as a pilot study area and estimated the willingness to pay (WTP) of tourists using three different discrete choice models. In this study, we analyzed the preference heterogeneity among the respondents regarding a combination of park attributes, and the individual respondent's WTP values were estimated for each attribute. The results indicate that water quality amelioration and trash reduction had the highest economic values among the given attribute factors. In addition, the estimated tourist WTP varied considerably among different segments, such as among the visitors who preferred different recreational activities. These findings provide valuable information that will allow coastal park managers to develop policies which maintain a balance between tourism development and improvement of the coastal environment.
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