Willingness to pay entrance fees to natural attractions: An Icelandic case study

Maria Reynisdottir, Haiyan Song, Jerome Agrusa

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

163 Citations (Scopus)


Introducing entrance fees to natural attractions may help counteract the threat of inadequate public funds for site maintenance and management. The primary objective of this study is to measure visitors' willingness to pay such fees in Iceland, where no such measurement has previously been undertaken. A questionnaire survey based on the contingent valuation method was carried out at two major natural attractions in Iceland: Gullfoss waterfall and Skaftafell National Park. Over 92% of the 252 respondents were willing to pay an entrance fee. Mean amounts and population consumer surplus estimates per season were ISK11Exchange rates at the time of the survey: €1=Isk 87, $1=Isk 72, £1=Isk 131. 333 and ISK 41 million at Gullfoss and ISK 508 and ISK 34 million at Skaftafell, respectively. Modest fees would not significantly decrease the demand for these attractions. Slight differences were found in the willingness to pay according to income, attitude towards environmental protection, number of previous visits, history of paying entrance fees, country of residence, age and education. Implications of the empirical study for policy makers and site managers are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1076-1083
Number of pages8
JournalTourism Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008


  • Contingent valuation
  • Iceland
  • Nature-based tourism
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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