Assessing Visitor Preferences for Archaeological and Heritage Sites: A Case Study of Hadrian’s Roman Wall

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Managing archaeological and heritage sites requires information on visitor preferences to guide displays of cultural exhibits. A choice experiment is used to investigate visitor preferences Vindolanda Roman fort, within Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site. It assesses visitor preferences, utility, and value of attributes of the site: excavation and research, interpretation information, museum displays, reconstructions, visitor amenities and admission price. The study demonstrates the importance of taking into account interaction effects between attributes in determining the value of cultural goods. The analysis also reveals a preference for the status quo; and greater choice uncertainty associated with alternative hypothetical attribute bundles. In addition, the value of a cultural good is seen to be dependent upon the value people attach to neighbouring substitute Roman forts, and this significantly affects the price visitors are willing to pay for entry into Vindolanda.


Keywords: Archaeological & Heritage Sites, Choice Experiments, Economic & Social Value
Stream: Economics and Management
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Ken Willis

Professor, Centre for Research in Environmental Appraisal & Management 
School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University

Newcastle, UK

Ken Willis is an environmental economist, with experience in appraisal and valuation of environmental projects, including nature conservation, recreation, water, infrastructure, town and country planning policies, and cultural heritage. He has expertise in environmental benefit estimation techniques (travel-cost models, hedonic price models, contingent valuation methods, stated preference methods, and contingent ranking techniques); environmental cost measures (averting and preventative expenditure, and replacement cost techniques); econometrics; discounted cash flow; cost-benefit analysis; decision and risk analysis. He has directed and worked upon numerous contingent valuation studies stated choice (conjoint analysis) studies; covering a wide variety of issues from air pollution, bathing water, biodiversity, conservation areas, cultural heritage, earthquake risk mitigation, electricity supply interruptions, environmentally sensitive areas, fishing, forests, green belts, historic buildings, recreation values of canals, rivers, etc., landscape, low flow alleviation in rivers, property attributes, quarries, SSSI, traffic calming schemes, utility networks, waiting time for social housing, waste disposal, water supply, water quality, waste water, and wildlife preservation.

Ref: I08P0716