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Visitor preferences on different safari tour packages: A Case Study of Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka

Author:

Rathnayake Mudiyanselage Wasantha Rathnayake

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihul Oya, LK
About Rathnayake Mudiyanselage
Faculty of Management Studies
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Abstract

In Sri Lanka, visitors to national parks are not offered a choice when they go on safari tours regarding the type of wildlife viewing that they are interested in such as elephant watching, bird watching or general wildlife viewing. Although wildlife watching is as much a recreational activity as an educational activity, visitor requirements are often not met at national parks. In the present study, under different prices, facilities and services, four tour packages were presented to the visitors as choice sets at Udawalawe National Park (UNP) in Sri Lanka. Four hundred visitor groups were surveyed at the ticket-issuing office located at the entrance to the UNP within a 06 months’ period covering week days, weekends, holidays and school vacations. A choice experiment was conducted and ‘different willingness to pay (WTP) values were estimated for the safari tours. In addition, the WTP values for the visitor facilities and services presented to visitors were estimated. There was a significant difference in demand for the attributes found in tour packages. The majority were willing to pay more for the attributes of distance to be travelled and the availability of a professional guide in the safari vehicle. There was less demand for the facility of ‘open hood’ and one stop relaxation service in the tour package. The findings of the study will be helpful to park managers in proposing a price structure for safari tours and in providing a proper service to visitors at the UNP.
How to Cite: Wasantha Rathnayake, R. M. (2021). Visitor preferences on different safari tour packages: A Case Study of Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka. South Asian Journal of Tourism and Hospitality, 1(2), 55–74. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sajth.v1i2.37
Published on 30 Aug 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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