The Value of Traditonal Rural Landscape and Nature Protected Areas in Tourism Demand: A Study on Agritourists’ Preferences
This study focuses on how traditional rural landscape and proximity to a Natura 2000 Site of Community Importance (SCI) might influence consumers’ choice of an agritourism farm for a weekend stay. Data were collected in Umbria region’s (Italy) agritourism farms in 2014 by interviewing 160 tourists. Results from a discrete choice experiment reveal that the most important feature affecting the interviewees’ propensity to pay a premium price to stay in an agritourism farm is the well-preserved traditional landscape (willingness to pay 32.32€/night for two people), followed by the availability of a swimming pool (willingness to pay 20.95€/night for two people), the proximity to a historical village (willingness to pay 18.37€/night for two people) and, the location in a Natura 2000 SCI (willingness to pay 13.57€/night for two people). Furthermore, the results underline how the preservation of the traditional landscape and protection of the surrounding environment play a strategic role in developing agritourism and provide economic benefits to local communities.