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World Heritage Listing of Australian Natural Sites: Tourism Stimulus and its Economic Value

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  • Tisdell, Clement A.
  • Wilson, Clevo

Abstract

Australia has 14 areas inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, on the basis of their globally outstanding natural and in some cases also cultural values. Many regard listing as prestigious and believe that it acts as a signalling device like a brand name. But to what extent and in what ways does the extra prestige bestowed by this listing translate into increased economic value for listed properties? This article deals with two main aspects of World Heritage listing. First, examines the hypothesis that World Heritage listing increases tourist visitation numbers, and available international visitor time-series data are examined to provide empirical evidence. It is found that although visitor numbers are likely to increase as a result of World Heritage listing, the increase is not as large as is often perceived. Some properties continue to experience low visitation rates despite World Heritage listing, and reasons for this phenomenon are advanced. Likely reasons for the inequalities in growth patterns of visits to different World Heritage properties are highlighted. Secondly, the article considers how the economic value of the tourism stimulus provided by World Heritage listing can be measured in principle and relates this to economic impact analysis and total economic valuation. Important and new limitations to the use of the travel cost method in this context are identified.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Queensland, School of Economics in its series Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers with number 48382.

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Date of creation: Sep 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uqseee:48382

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Keywords: Tourism; World Heritage; National Parks; Land Economics/Use;

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References

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  1. Ian J. Bateman & Guy D. Garrod & Julii S. Brainard & Andrew A. Lovett, 1996. "Measurement Issues In The Travel Cost Method: A Geographical Information Systems Approach," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1-4), pages 191-205.
  2. Harry R. Clarke & Yew-Kwang Ng, 1993. "Tourism, economic welfare and efficient pricing," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-18, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  3. Pearce, David, 1992. "Economic valuation and the natural world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 988, The World Bank.
  4. V. Kerry Smith & Raymond J. Kopp, 1980. "The Spatial Limits of the Travel Cost Recreational Demand Model," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(1), pages 64-72.
  5. Tisdell, Clement A. & Wilson, Clevo, 2000. "Tourism and Conservation of Sea Turtles: An Australian Case Study," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48007, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  6. Font, Antoni Riera, 2000. "Mass Tourism and the Demand for Protected Natural Areas: A Travel Cost Approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 97-116, January.
  7. Ger Klaassen & David Pearce, 1995. "Introduction," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 85-93, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Bruno S. Frey & Paolo Pamini, 2009. "Making world heritage truly global: the culture certificate scheme," IEW - Working Papers 419, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Tisdell, Clement A. & Bandara, Ranjith, 2004. "Tourism as a contributor to development in Sri Lanka: An overview and a case study," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48975, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  3. Bruno S. Frey & Lasse Steiner, 2010. "World Heritage List: does it make sense?," IEW - Working Papers 484, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Bruno S. Frey & Paolo Pamini, 2010. "World Heritage: Where Are We? An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 2919, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Tisdell, Clement A., 2003. "Ecotourism/Wildlife based Tourism as Contributor to Nature Conservation with Reference to Vanni, Sri Lanka," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48956, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  6. Tisdell, Clement A., 2003. "Valuation of Tourism's Natural Resources," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48962, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  7. Tisdell, Clement A., 2003. "Notes on Market Failure and the Paretian (Kaldor-Hicks) Relevance and Irrelevance of Unfavourable Externalities," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48970, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Paolo Pamini & Lasse Steiner, 2011. "What determines the World Heritage List? An econometric analysis," ECON - Working Papers 001, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

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