Article

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

Citation

Börger T, Campbell D, White MP, Elliott LR, Fleming LE, Garrett JK, Hattam C, Hynes S, Lankia T & Taylor T (2021) The value of blue-space recreation and perceived water quality across Europe: A contingent behaviour study. Science of the Total Environment, 771, Art. No.: 145597. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145597

Abstract
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.

Keywords
Travel cost method; Contingent behaviour method; Water quality; Blue-space recreation; Incidental truncation; Count data models

Journal
Science of the Total Environment: Volume 771

StatusPublished
FundersHorizon 2020 (Outputs)
Publication date01/06/2021
Publication date online01/03/2021
Date accepted by journal29/01/2021
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/32492
ISSN0048-9697
eISSN1879-1026