Student research project about the non-use value of the Wadden Sea area

Four third-year Tourism Management students from NHL-Stenden University of Applied Sciences started their research this week about the non-use value of the Wadden Sea area in relation to the recent container disaster with the MSC Zoe as part of their educational curriculum. In nine weeks, the students will carry out a quantitative research project by means of questioning respondents about their willingness to pay for the area in several contexts.

The concept of non-use value

In addition to the various use values the Wadden Sea area has and which are economically important for many stakeholders, the non-use value, the concept of which originated in the 1980s, can also be seen as an economic value. This concept points out the value people assign to goods or areas even if they have never used them, or never will use them. Non-use value consists of four categories:

  • Option value
  • Bequest value
  • Existence value
  • Altruistic value

All these value categories expressing a different value individuals place on their willingness to pay for maintaining and/or preserving a certain area in order to have a future option for usage, or keep it in shape so that others or future generations may make use of it.

Students’ contribution to the research projects of ETFI

We give students the possibility to work on a variety of real-life projects for clients from the tourism and leisure sector, who are waiting for their input to be implemented in existing or new business processes. In addition, carrying out a research project with ETFI means that students work on their resumes as well as that they might come into contact with potential employers.

The role of ETFI in education

ETFI is involved in the curriculum of Tourism Management, Leisure Management and the Master International Leisure, Tourism & Events Management. We organise scenario planning workshops for first, second- and third-year students, we give guest lectures about a variety of topics and supervise students throughout their dissertations and internships. In addition, ETFI is the linking pin between the industry and education when it comes to bringing in interesting questions from the industry for research purposes. To be precise, students carry out a wide variety of exciting research projects for external clients in their third-year Tourism Research Project module. Those projects are both supervised by staff from Tourism Management and ETFI and are almost always valued positively by students as a valuable learning experience.

Do you have an interesting research project or research question which could be researched by a group of students? Please contact Ben Wielenga.