This paper examines whether water quality has an effect on recreational boating activity. The analysis is based on survey data collected by face-to-face interviews with recreational visitors to 10 waterway sites across Ireland. We model the respondent’s choice decision to travel to a specific site for the purposes of beginning their recreational boating activity. Water quality data is from European Union Water Framework Directive monitoring stations. Across recreational sites, which have generally high water quality levels within our sample, we find that boaters favour sites with better water quality; as indicated by biological oxygen demand and phosphates metrics. We also find that for each additional 10 km distance from respondents’ homes the probability that a site is visited declines by up to 10%. Preferences for other site attributes, such as boat slipways, parking and toilet facilities, were counter to expectation but reflects the fact that all boat users do not necessarily access or need all facilities provided.
The ESRI works towards a national vision of ‘Informed policy for a better Ireland’. This means producing high-quality analysis to provide robust evidence for policymaking, with the goals of research excellence and policy impact.
The ESRI produces research that contributes to understanding economic and social change in the new international context and that informs public policymaking and civil society in Ireland.