Recreational boating site choice and the impact of water quality

October 17, 2017 | Journal Article

Authors: John Curtis , Stephen Hynes , Benjamin Breen
Heliyon , Vol. 3, Issue 10, October 2017, Article e00426

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.

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