LOCAL VISITORS’ WILLINGNESS TO PAY FOR CONSERVATION FEE AT KAMPUNG KUANTAN FIREFLY PARK, KUALA SELANGOR, MALAYSIA
Keywords:Conservation, contingent valuation method, willingness to pay, mangrove, wildlife
Fireflies in Kuala Selangor, Malaysia are threatened by habitat destruction, soil degradation and light pollution. The main objective of this study was to estimate the local tourists’ willingness to pay a conservation fee at Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park. The best data collection method chosen in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic was an online questionnaire survey. The study used a purposive sampling technique, as only those who visited Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park were eligible to complete the online survey. The willingness to pay questionnaire was developed using the Open-Ended Contingent Valuation Method. A total of 385 respondents were included for data analysis. The results of Tobit regression analysis indicated that age, education, gender and attitude had significant relationship with willingness to pay. Based on the willingness to pay estimate equation, the overall mean willingness to pay for the conservation fee was 9.44 RM per visit. The research findings will assist policymakers in taking the obligatory actions to protect and conserve precious natural resources and provide information to the natural park department in order to achieve a sustainable ecotourism plan for Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park in Kuala Selangor, Malaysia.