This paper aims to explore how protected areas are financed. Taking our cue from the policies implemented by the Italian Government for the conservation of nature reserves, particularly one located in Sicily, we attempted to evaluate whether the introduction of entrance fees could be a good source of finance for these sites. To this end, we conducted a survey of potential visitors to measure their Willingness to Pay, using techniques such as Contingent Valuation (CV) and applying Stated Preferences (SP) models, to investigate socio-economic characteristics and individual preferences in eco-tourism demand.
Keywords: Contingent valuation, public environmental policy, environmental protection
Jel Code: Q58, C35, H25