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Abstract

This study attempts to quantify tourists’ demand for regional character on vacations to the South Carolina (SC) coast. Preferences for authentic elements such as the destination’s local flair and the local ownership of restaurants were measured using stated-preference choice modeling. This technique forces individuals to make tradeoffs between hypothetical trips based on attributes such as number of activities, amount of locally owned restaurants, degree of local flair, and price. The results of the survey (n=240) indicate a statistically significant demand for local flair and local restaurant ownership, although the demand plateaus after reaching a moderate level.

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Tourism and Local Character in South Carolina: A Stated Preference Based Demand Analysis

This study attempts to quantify tourists’ demand for regional character on vacations to the South Carolina (SC) coast. Preferences for authentic elements such as the destination’s local flair and the local ownership of restaurants were measured using stated-preference choice modeling. This technique forces individuals to make tradeoffs between hypothetical trips based on attributes such as number of activities, amount of locally owned restaurants, degree of local flair, and price. The results of the survey (n=240) indicate a statistically significant demand for local flair and local restaurant ownership, although the demand plateaus after reaching a moderate level.