The value of blue-space recreation and perceived water quality across Europe: A contingent behaviour study

Tobias Boerger, Mathew White, Danny Campbell, Lewis R. Elliott, Lora E. Fleming, Joanne K. Garrett, Caroline Hattam, Stephen Hynes, Tuija Lankia, Tim Taylor

This study estimates the value of recreational visits to blue-space sites across 14 EU Member States, representing 78% of the Union's population. Across all countries surveyed, respondents made an average of 47 blue-space visits per person per year. Employing travel cost and contingent behaviour methods, the value of a visit is estimated at €41.32 which adds up to a recreational value of €631bn per year for the total adult population surveyed. Using the Bathing Water Directive's water quality designation, the analysis shows that a one-level improvement in water quality leads to 3.13 more visits (+6.67%), whereas a one-level deterioration leads to 9.77 fewer annual visits (−20.83%). This study provides valuations of benefits of recreation and changes of recreational values due to changes in surface water quality, which can be compared to the implementation and monitoring costs of efforts under the EU's Bathing Water, Water Framework and Marine Strategy Framework Directives.

Vienna Cognitive Science Hub
External organisation(s)
Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin, University of Stirling, University of Exeter, ICF Resources, L.L.C., National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI), Natural Resources Institute Finland
Science of the Total Environment
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
303025 Preventive medicine
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