The Demarcated Douro Region is one of the oldest demarcated wine regions, and the largest and the most heterogeneous mountainous wine region in the world. Viticulture covers 44,000ha, and since 2001 an area covering 24,600ha has been designated as the most representative territory of the Demarcated Douro Region, the Alto Douro Wine Region. This region is included in the list of World Heritage Sites as an evolving and living cultural landscape. The Demarcated Douro Region fits the terroir model, as its economy is based on wine (Porto wine and Douro still wines), supplemented by tourism. During recent decades, both activities have witnessed deep and structural changes, with consequences for the maintenance of the traditional characteristics of the cultural landscape that drove the UNESCO classification. With this issue in mind, the goal of this paper is to describe the recent evolution of the main economic activities of the Demarcated Douro Region. In particular, we aim to deepen the knowledge about the preferences of Portuguese visitors towards the Alto Douro Wine Region and its attributes, thus determining those that deserve preservation and, consequently, public attention. The results of a mixed logit model show that visitors assign highest utility to the preservation of vineyards supported by schist walls, followed by the agglomerations and the characteristic mosaic nature of the landscape. Additionally, respondents who are richer, employed, better educated, better informed regarding the culture of the site and more influenced by the listing are more willing to participate in preserving the cultural heritage of the region.
Cultural heritage Visitors' preferences Wine economics