The role of equity, trust and information on user fee acceptance in protected areas and other public lands: A structural model

Gyan P. Nyaupane, Alan R. Graefe, Robert C. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Although inequity has been considered as a major concern of user fees on public lands, there is a lack of sufficient empirical research on understanding how perceptions of inequity influence fee acceptance. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to examine the role of three equity constructs on fee acceptance, and (2) to test whether perceptions of inequity mediate the relationship between trust, information and fee acceptance. This study is based on a telephone survey conducted with residents of Oregon and Washington, United States. The sampling was conducted using a random-digit dial process, yielding 366 completed interviews. The results of structural equation modeling showed that, among the three-dimensional equity constructs, i.e. compensatory equity, democratic equity and equity belief, only equity belief influenced fee acceptance. Further, equity belief partially mediated the effects of information and trust on fee acceptance. Providing more information about fees to the public such as why fees are collected, and where the fee dollars went, and gaining trust with the public through more accountability, transparency and public participation can help to reduce the perception of inequity, and consequently help to build support towards the recreation user fee programme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-517
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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