Public’s behavioural responses to cyanobacterial blooms in Sweden

by Jenny Wallström

Institution: Södertörns Högskola
Year: 2016
Keywords: algal blooms; willingness to pay; Gotland; tourism; Baltic Sea; Natural Sciences; Earth and Related Environmental Sciences; Naturvetenskap; Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap; Life Earth Science; bio-/geovetenskap; Environmental Science; Miljövetenskap
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2065303
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30824


Eutrophication caused by nutrient loads from human activities is considered as one of the most serious environmental threats to the Baltic Sea. Due to climate change, cyanobacterial blooms are expected to increase in the future. This could affect people’s utility of beach recreation negatively in countries surrounding the Baltic. Based on a web survey carried out in south-eastern Sweden, public’s reactions and attitudes to cyanobacterial blooms are analysed. Possible economic impact on Gotland of more widespread blooms are estimated, and public demand for better information is evaluated. The result shows that 30% of the respondents from south-eastern Sweden would consider cancelling their plans of travelling to Gotland with knowledge about forthcoming algal blooms around the island. Determinants of tourists’ tendency to cancel their travel arrangements are earlier negative experiences of algal blooms and concerns regarding their pets’ bathing. The annual local economic loss for Gotland’s tourism industry is estimated to between 15 and 221 million SEK. The median willingness to pay for a mobile application which provides one-day forecasts of algal blooms is 25 SEK on Gotland and 20 SEK in southeastern Sweden. Boat owners, people who visit beaches often and those who travel to Gotland frequently, are more likely to pay for the mobile application. People who think algal blooms are natural show less demand for information.