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Economics of Wildlife Tourism


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  • Tisdell, Clement A.
  • Wilson, Clevo


After introducing the importance of the topic, we examine the economic impacts of wildlife tourism on income and employment as an indicator of the importance of this form of tourism. While such indicators can be important politically and to particular interest groups, they are shown to be an inadequate guide to the economic use and conservation of resources, including wildlife used in tourism. One reason for this (amongst others) is that total economic value must be taken into account in determining economic resource use and this is shown to be quite important in the case of wildlife species. Empirical procedures, such as use of the travel cost method and stated preference methods (for example, contingent valuation) are outlined and the way in which they can be used for determining the optimal economic allocation of land and other resources for wildlife tourism is explained. Economic implications and limitations of some empirical estimates of the importance of wildlife tourism are discussed. This leads on to a consideration of the purpose and usefulness of using economic instruments to manage wildlife tourism.

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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 48969.

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Date of creation: Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uqseee:48969

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Keywords: economic impacts of wildlife tourism; conservation of resources; economic resource use; contingent valuation; Environmental Economics and Policy;


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  1. Hanley, Nick & Mourato, Susana & Wright, Robert E, 2001. " Choice Modelling Approaches: A Superior Alternative for Environmental Valuation?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 435-62, July.
  2. Brown, Gardner M, Jr & Mendelsohn, Robert, 1984. "The Hedonic Travel Cost Method," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(3), pages 427-33, August.
  3. Tisdell, Clement A. & Wilson, Clevo, 2000. "Wildlife-based Tourism and Increased Tourist Support for Nature Conservation Financially and Otherwise: Evidence from Sea Turtle Ecotourism at Mon Repos," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48364, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  4. Sinden, J A, 1977. "The Provision and Use of National Parks in Victoria: Empirical Tests of the Tisdell Propositions," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(29), pages 175-93, December.
  5. Navrud, StAle & Mungatana, E. D., 1994. "Environmental valuation in developing countries: The recreational value of wildlife viewing," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 135-151, November.
  6. Motta, Ronaldo Ser A Da & Huber, Richard M. & Ruitenbeek, H. Jack, 1999. "Market based instruments for environmental policymaking in Latin America and the Caribbean: lessons from eleven countries," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 177-201, May.
  7. Bandara, Ranjith & Tisdell, Clement A., 2003. "Use and non-use values of wild Asian elephants: A total economic valuation approach," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48961, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  8. Tisdell, C., 1987. "Tourism, The Environment and Profit," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 17(1), pages 13-30.
  9. Ger Klaassen & David Pearce, 1995. "Introduction," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 85-93, March.
  10. Tisdell, Clement A. & Wilson, Clevo, 2000. "Economic, Educational and Conservation Benefits of Sea Turtle Based Ecotourism: A Study focused on Mon Repos," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 55110, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  11. Tisdell, Clement A., 1997. "Ecotourism: Aspects of Its Sustainability and Compatibility," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 53641, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  12. Wilson, Clevo & Tisdell, Clement A., 2002. "Conservation and Economic Benefits of Wildlife-based Marine Tourism: Sea Turtles and Whales as Case Studies," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48734, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  13. Boxall, Peter C. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L. & Swait, Joffre & Williams, Michael & Louviere, Jordan, 1996. "A comparison of stated preference methods for environmental valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 243-253, September.
  14. Ranken, R L & Sinden, J A, 1971. "Causal Factors in the Demand for Outdoor Recreation," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 47(119), pages 418-26, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Tisdell, Clement A., 2007. "The Economic Importance of Wildlife Conservation on the Otago Peninsula - 20 years on," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 55103, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  2. Hurkens, Ruben R.C.M. & Tisdell, Clement A., 2004. "Recreational Fishing and Fishing Policies in the Netherlands and Australia: a Comparative Review," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48978, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


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