Tourism Economics: the business and finance of tourism and recreation vol:18 issue:3 pages:649-670
Popular urban tourist destinations attract large numbers of overnight visitors and excursionists. Since cities perform a multitude of functions, the space requirements of tourists can sometimes interfere with those of local users. This paper addresses the issue of disutilities of space congestion through a dichotomous choice experiment. A resident survey was carried out in Amsterdam in order to estimate a random parameter logit model through which the residents’ willingness to pay to avoid unfavourable crowding situations was assessed. Their willingness to pay in order to increase the use levels in the Dam area from ‘not at all crowded’ or ‘not crowded’ to ‘crowded’ was respectively €1.36 and €0.83 annually, while the mean willingness to pay for a decline in the use level from ‘very crowded’ to ‘crowded’ was estimated at €11.06 a year. While tourism is only partly responsible for these crowding levels, the results demonstrate that the social effects of tourist consumption can be positive as well as negative, depending on the existing use level and attitudinal perceptions of residents.