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Contribution of international ecotourism to comprehensive economic development and convergence in the Central American and Caribbean region

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  • Ulrich Gunter
  • M. Graziano Ceddia
  • David Leonard
  • Bernhard Tröster

Abstract

Drawing on the positive experience from Costa Rica, the study examines whether international ecotourism makes a significant contribution to comprehensive economic development for the Central American and Caribbean region and contributes to comprehensive economic convergence. Following a standard empirical growth model, a dynamic panel regression model is estimated using time-series data from 1995 until 2012 for a cross section of seven countries. The interaction of international tourism and various established sustainability indicators is employed allowing ecotourism to be consistently quantified across countries, while numerous country-specific structural characteristics are controlled for. The estimation results show that international ecotourism has a statistically significant positive effect on both traditional economic development (real GDP per capita) and comprehensive economic development (adjusted net savings; ANS per capita), which is a measure of a society’s potential future well-being, thus providing evidence in support of the tourism-led growth hypothesis and pointing towards an important role for ecotourism in driving comprehensive economic convergence.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Gunter & M. Graziano Ceddia & David Leonard & Bernhard Tröster, 2018. "Contribution of international ecotourism to comprehensive economic development and convergence in the Central American and Caribbean region," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(33), pages 3614-3629, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:50:y:2018:i:33:p:3614-3629
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2018.1430339
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Valentina Della Corte & Giovanna Del Gaudio & Fabiana Sepe & Fabiana Sciarelli, 2019. "Sustainable Tourism in the Open Innovation Realm: A Bibliometric Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(21), pages 1-18, November.

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