The positions of Japan and Australia have been in sharp contrast over whaling; Japan seeks to expand whaling and is not concerned about protecting whales while Australia attempts to halt whaling and strengthen whale conservation. In this study, we hypothesize that this sparked difference reflects different levels of willingness to pay (WTP): low WTP for Japan and high WTP for Australia. This study examines how the difference is brought about, and in particular, we consider the familiarity of whale watching as a key to the difference between the two countries. Our hypothesis is that a conservation program targeting 1) a whale species for whale watching, 2) a whale species for hunting, and 3) an endangered species, receives a higher WTP, and those who value 1 and 2 are the ones who go on a whale-watching tour more frequently. We also use various environmental attitudes to explain different levels of WTP. We conducted an international survey to measure WTP among Japanese and Australian samples. Choice experiment data are analyzed using latent class model to account for heterogeneity in preferences.