Willingness to pay for captive wildlife tourism at the university of Ibadan Zoological Garden, Nigeria
Zoo visits represent a unique opportunity for large numbers of people to be engaged on wildlife conservation issues and given opportunity to support it. The University of Ibadan Zoo is one of the major sites with animals of high intrinsic value and attractions to tourists and other visitors. Copies of structured questionnaire were administered to 165 visitors to the zoo to elicit information on their socio-demography in relation to their paying characteristics, their willingness to pay (WTP) for the services offered by the Zoo, and the factors influencing their WTP. The Result showed that majority (51.5%) of the visitors were males and 48.5% were females. 61% of the visitors had repeated visits while 39% were first time visitors. Although, 76% of them were often willing to pay for captive wildlife tourism in the Zoo, 52% of the visitors were not satisfied with the current charges by the Zoo. Income, marital status and place of residence of the visitors were significantly related to visitors willingness to pay (p<0.05). Five factors significantly influence visitors’ WTP, out of which, the level of satisfaction of the visitors had the highest weighted mean of 4.39, and hence the highest influence on visitors’ WTP. Zoo visitors will be willing to pay more for captive wildlife tourism at the University of Ibadan Zoological Garden, if the facilities, services and conservation strategies are improved to provide more satisfaction to visitors.
Keywords: University of Ibadan Zoo, wildlife, visitors, willingness to pay, level of satisfaction