Establishing a pre-COVID-19 baseline for surf tourism: Trip expenditure and attitudes, behaviors and willingness to pay for sustainability
This manuscript provides the only empirically derived pre-COVID-19 global estimation of international surf travel spending and the first assessment of sustainable surf tourism attitudes, behaviors, and willingness to pay. It establishes important baselines that can serve as points of comparison as, and after, surf tourism returns, inevitably changed, post-COVID-19. Employing a direct cost method, international surf tourism expenditure was valued between $31.5 to $64.9 billion USD per year and surfers reported being willing to pay between $1.99 and $4.1 billion USD more annually for sustainable surf tourism products. These results suggest surfing tourism deserves a more significant place in funding initiatives, discussions, and research related to fostering sustainable development from ocean resources in the rapidly changing world.