Marine protected areas increasingly are challenged to maintain or increase tourism benefits while adequately protecting resources. Although carrying capacity strategies can be used to cope with use-related impacts, there is little understanding of divers themselves, their management preferences, and how preferences relate to conservation goals. By using a stated preference choice modeling approach, we investigated the choices divers make in selecting diving trips to marine protected areas as defined by use level, access, level of supervision, fees, conservation education, and diving expectations. Logit models showed that divers preferred a more restrictive management scenario over the status quo. Divers favored reductions in the level of site use and increased levels of conservation education. Divers did not favor fees to access protected areas, having less access to the resource, or extensive supervision. Finally, divers were much more willing to accept increasingly restrictive management scenarios when they could expect to see increased marine life.
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