Time stability of visitors’ preferences for preserving the worldwide cultural landscape alto douro wine region

The Alto Douro Wine Region (ADWR) was classified a world heritage site, specifically as a cultural landscape, by UNESCO, in 2001. The well known “Porto Wine” and other high quality wines are produced in the Douro region. As an attraction and touristic site, the cultural site has to meet the needs of more demanding visitors and to compete with a growing number of cultural sites, also classified by UNESCO. To achieve this goal, landscape managers and public authorities have much to profit from knowing and understanding visitors’ preferences regarding the attributes associated to its outstanding universal value. 

The goal of this paper is to enhance the knowledge about the preferences of the ADWR Portuguese’ visitors, considering the attributes that deserve preservation and consequently public attention. Using the choice experiments technique, six alternative choice sets were presented in a questionnaire in the year 2013. Data was collected from 249 useful surveys corresponding to 1,494 responses. Responses are analyzed by a random parameters or mixed logit model, taking into account the random preferences heterogeneity and the panel nature of the data. 

An additional and innovative issue of the article is to compare the results of the survey conducted in 2013 with previous evidence from own work conducted in 2008. The comparison of the results in two distinct periods of time is a novelty; moreover the question of preferences’ stability has rarely been addressed in discrete choices models. Nevertheless, in the context of changing living conditions and expectations of Portuguese consumers plunged into an economic crisis, this subject is clearly relevant. 

Authors: Lina LOURENÇO-GOMES (1), Lígia, M. C. PINTO (2), João REBELO (1) 

(1) Department of Economics, Sociology and Management (DESG), Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies (CETRAD), University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), Quinta de Prados, 5001-801 Vila Real Portugal 
(2) School of Economics and Management (EEG), Applied Microeconomics Research Unit (NIMA), University of Minho, Address; Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal 

Email: lsofia@utad.pt 

Keywords: Preferences’ stability; applied microeconomics; discrete choice models; cultural economics; consumer preferences 

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