Date of Award

Fall 2012

Project Type


Program or Major

Resource Administration and Management

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

John M Halstead


A chronic lack of sufficient financial resources has prevented many protected area professionals from achieving adequate ecosystem protection. Using a case study of O&huml;rseg National Park in Hungary and the contingent valuation technique, we examined the relative importance of various ecosystem services to respondents, their WTP for these services, and the oath of honesty's effect on hypothetical bias.

Results from the intercept survey that was administered in the park in the summer of 2011 and filled out by 212 respondents show that visitors prefer the protection of the park's cultural monuments, and ecosystems services like local natural food, climate regulation and recreation. Their mean WTP for a daily user fee to protect the park is 655 HUF. This results in an amount of 215,495,000 HUF economic rent that, if captured could increase the park budget by 49%. The oath of honesty did not have a significantly negative effect on WTP.