Biology and Life Sciences
Received: 03 Jul 2018 , Published: 06 July 2018
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Beaches are natural resources that offers economic and environmental benefits to the allied societies. Local tourism in Sri Lanka largely involves the activities in the beach area. Selecting a beach as a tourist destination is affected by many factors and attitude towards tourist destination is one of them. This study was designed to examine the local visitors’ perceptions to select a beach for a recreational visit, problems associated to visit on site and their willingness to pay towards conservation and improvement of natural ecosystem. Selected study area in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka was Pasikudah beach and a sample of 80 was selected randomly. In study design attitude variables were recorded using Likert scale and data related to willingness to pay was taken. Descriptive statistics, frequency analysis and Mann-Whitney test were performed. The scenic beauty and popularity of beach were drawing attention to Pasikudah but the poor washroom availability and waste disposal found to be major problems to gain good experience at beach visit. Mann-Whitney U Test find out accessibility to services in local visitors was statistically significantly higher when compare to local visitors (U = 476, p = 0.032) while other variables had no significant differences between two groups. The willingness to pay ticket to conserve the beach was Rs. 49.61/- and willingness to pay as a donation to conserve the beach was Rs. 117.85/-
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