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Ecotourism and economic growth in the Galapagos: an island economy-wide analysis

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  • TAYLOR, J. EDWARD
  • HARDNER, JARED
  • STEWART, MICKI

Abstract

This study revisits and updates a 1999 economy-wide analysis predicting that increases in tourism would result in rapid economic as well as demographic growth on the Galapagos Islands. The following six years witnessed sharp growth in tourism; a restructuring of tourism around larger cruise ships and new, larger hotels; and rapid population growth. Our findings indicate that total income (that is, the gross domestic product) of the Galapagos increased by an estimated 78 per cent between 1999 and 2005, making the Galapagos economy among the fastest growing in the world. Tourism continued to be far and away the major driver of economic growth. Nevertheless, population growth via new migration to the islands nearly erased the effect of economic growth on per-capita household income. These findings raise questions about the compatibility of ecotourism and conservation in this unique ecological setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Taylor, J. Edward & Hardner, Jared & Stewart, Micki, 2009. "Ecotourism and economic growth in the Galapagos: an island economy-wide analysis," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(02), pages 139-162, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:14:y:2009:i:02:p:139-162_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Federico Medina & Juan Pablo Bermeo & Jesus Ramos-Martin & Bernardo Bustamante & Juan Cadillo Benalcazar & Jaime Cevallos & Belén Liger & Freddy Llive & Rony Parra & Hernán Villarraga & María Eugenia , 2014. "Diagnóstico y análisis biofísico para evaluación y formulación de escenarios de desarrollo en el Archipiélago de Galápagos," Informes Técnicos CEPROEC IT2014_01, Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales, Centro de Prospectiva Estratégica.

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