Journal of Economics and Management  
  Volume 13, No. 2  
  August, 2017  

Economic Benefits of Improving the Quality of

Cultural Heritage Sites

Chih-Cheng Chen


Department of Finance, Mingdao University, Taiwan

  Chun-Hung Lee  
Department of National Resources and Environmental Studies, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan



This study used the contingent valuation method (CVM) to estimate willingness to pay (WTP) to preserve cultural heritage, comparing the WTP to preserve the Peinan Cultural Heritage Site between cultural value clusters. The contingent behavior approach was applied to evaluate the economic benefits secured by the improvement of tourism quality at the site and examine the economic benefits of various hypothetical programs, including enhancing recreational experience, promoting the conservation of cultural resources, improving visitor services and infrastructure, and controlling negative impacts on cultural heritage. The empirical results were as follows. First, this study identified four cultural value dimensions, among which the most crucial multiperception clusters give recognition and reaffirmation of indigenous cultures as a central theme. Second, cultural value clusters differed significantly in terms of WTP ranges from US$128 to US$240 according to the average annual visitor numbers for the preservation of cultural heritage. Third, the multiperception clusters had the highest WTP values. Fourth, using the improvement of cultural recreation quality in all programs, the cultural recreation demand became more price-inelastic and the alternative cultural heritage site became a less attractive substitute. Fifth, the economic benefit of conserving cultural resources was higher than that of all other programs.



Keywords:  cultural heritage site recreation demand, willingness to pay, contingent valuation method



JEL classification:  C10, Z31