Eco-labelling of marine recreation services: the case of Blue Flag price premium in Croatia

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Eco-labels or eco-certifications communicate to the public and tourists that a business is employing one or more environmentally friendly practices. A successful label provides incentives for industry to participate by allowing for further product differentiation, leading to increased price premia. This paper examines whether the Blue Flag eco-label has a positive influence on prices of tourism services associated with marinas and beaches in coastal Croatia. For this purpose, panel data regression models are employed, and they explicitly address endogeneity of the eco-label variable arising from selection of firms adopting the label. Treatment effects and instrumental variables specifications are estimated, and results suggest positive impacts of the Blue Flag label on marina slip rental, sailboat charter, and hotel services, with price premia ranging between 18% and 72%. These results may be of use to businesses, governmental, and non-governmental organisations interested in pursuing such certification.


This article was originally published in Journal of Ecotourism. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Ecotourism