Willingness to pay of trail runners for sustainable country park use in Hong Kong

Samuel Ribet, Luke M. Brander*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Trail running has evolved from a fringe to mainstream activity but is associated with a rise in adverse environmental impacts including trail degradation, littering and disturbance of wildlife. This study explores the preferences of trail running race participants for sustainable use of country parks in Hong Kong. We use a face-to-face survey and discrete choice experiment methodology to measure the willingness to pay of race participants for the provision of drinking water fountains, biodiversity conservation, trail maintenance and green auditing of race events. The results suggest that there is a latent desire among trail runners to contribute to the preservation of natural areas through a surcharge on top of race entry fees. Mean willingness to pay for the provision of drinking water, conservation of biodiversity and trail maintenance is estimated in 2018 to be USD 12, USD 19 and USD 24 respectively. Furthermore, from stakeholder interviews it is concluded that the proposed fund-raising mechanism of a surcharge on top of the race entry fee would be readily accepted by trail runners, race organisers, NGOs and the government. This paper presents a practical and acceptable model that tackles environmental degradation caused by trail running whilst instigating a more democratic management approach between the government and other park stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100320
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
Early online date14 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Biodiversity
  • Discrete choice experiment
  • Protected areas
  • recreation
  • Trail maintenance
  • Trail running


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