The economic influence of community-based dolphin watching on a local economy in a developing country: Implications for conservation
This study examined the direct economic impacts of dolphin watching tourism in Lovina, north Bali (Indonesia). The study applied the direct expenditure approach to tourists who went on dolphin tours in Lovina in 2008 and 2009. This industry depends on predictable access to coastal dolphins, attracts at least 37,000 overnight visitors per annum (~60% of the region's overnight tourists) and contributes at least 46% of the total direct expenditures (USD 4.1 million p.a.) for accommodation, meals, transportation, communication and souvenirs. The 179 boatmen enjoy an above average income and thus have little financial incentive to leave the industry. Nonetheless, trip fees constitute only 3% of the total expenditures generated by dolphin watching tourism. The remainder e.g., for accommodation, restaurants and transport is spent with local businesses which become the substantial beneficiaries and hence these stakeholders should also be consulted prior to any management intervention. This profitable industry supports 35–100 tour boats operating daily. The number of boats should be regulated to address concerns over their impacts on the dolphins and visitor satisfaction.
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