Recent decades have seen a growing interest in experiencing wildlife and flora in nature-based tourism destinations, while at the same time it is far less clear whether wildlife and flora also matter in green places near home. This paper examines whether wildlife and flora affect the perceived attractiveness of green places, among the general public in the Netherlands. Differences between local green places, where relatively common wildlife and flora can be observed (e.g. ducks, hedgehogs, cow parsley), and national green places, where visitors can encounter more charismatic wildlife and flora (e.g. red deer, wild boars, orchids), are investigated as well. Data from a large online survey (the Hotspotmonitor) were used. The results show that wildlife and flora are relatively unimportant reasons for attractiveness, although slightly more important in national than in local green places. Interestingly, wildlife and flora do add significantly to the valuation of attractiveness of local green places, whereas nationally, they do not. Our results also demonstrate that wildlife and flora in green places near home are important for broad segments of the population, while they matter more for relatively old and highly educated people in green places further from home.
Folmer, A., Haartsen, T., Buijs, A. E., & Huigen, P. P. P. (2016). Wildlife and flora and the perceived attractiveness of green places: A comparison between local and national green places. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 16, 16-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jort.2016.09.001