THE ECONOMICS OF RURAL HERITAGE PARKS: WILLINGNESS TO PAY
Keywords:Tourism resources; Rural Heritage Parks; Willingness-to-pay.
One of the priorities should be the heart of Europe 2020: Sustainable growth – promoting more resource efﬁcient, greener and more competitive economy.
Enhancing the competitiveness of European tourism sector is one of the perspective emphases of basic initiative Flagship Initiative: “An industrial policy for the globalization era” European Commission Proposal for Europe 2020 Strategy. In circumstances of economical crisis there must be evaluated the use of existing and future heritage resources. Such evaluation is very important in the regions of Latvia Cultural heritage as a tourism resource can produce potential impulses for the development of local and regional economics. Rural heritage parks are recreational places for local inhabitants.
There are approximately one thousand heritage parks in Latvia but most of them have not been properly studied and used. Maija Park, situated in Cēsis city, is one of 100 most spruced culturally historic objects in Latvia.
In the research data from 127 respondents was gathered (were interviewed face-to face) and information was collected August – October 2009. By this time such research in the rural heritage parks in Latvia has not been done.
The aim of the research is increase of incomes in rural heritage Maija Park. As a result, authors determined visitors of Heritage Park, their individual WTP and stimulating factors.
To understand this, the author analyzed such willingness to pay (WTP) factors as travel expenses, income, distance, education and quality of recreation events.