The appreciation of nature and landscape by tourism service providers and visitors in the Ore Mountains (Germany)
The paper presents empirical studies on the appreciation of nature and landscape in the Eastern Ore Mountains (Saxony, Germany) by tourism service providers (TSP) and visitors. Attractive landscape and experience of nature are the most important reasons to visit this region and to spend leisure time there. Particularly mountain meadows, raised bogs and mixed forests are highly appreciated. Deforestation, industrial development and the decline of biodiversity would reduce attractiveness for visitors. We also assessed whether the tourism sector is prepared to contribute to the funding of nature conservation and landscape management. Use of general tax revenues is favoured, but other modes would also be accepted, e.g. a nature tax. Willingness to pay (WTP) is ranging between €0.75 and €1.36 per guest per night by TSP, or between €1.06 and €2.73 per day by visitors. With respect to landscape preference and WTP we found in some cases significant differences among visitors, depending on region of residence, age and education level. A major part of the annual costs for nature conservation and landscape could be covered by public funds (taxes), if the results of the WTP approach were understood as a sign of societal demand and a call to action.