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Effects of Great Barrier Reef Degradation on Recreational Demand: A Contingent Behaviour Approach


  • Peter C. Roebeling

    (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems)

  • M.E. Kragt

    (University and Research Centre)

  • A. Ruijs

    (University and Research Centre)


Degradation of coral reefs may affect the number of tourists visiting the reef and, consequently, the economic sectors that rely on healthy reefs for their income generation. A Contingent Behaviour approach is used to estimate the effect of reef degradation on demand for recreational dive and snorkel trips, for a case study of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia. We assessed how reef degradation affects GBR tourism and to what extent reef-trip demand depends on the visitors’ socio-economic characteristics. A count data model is developed, and results indicate that an average visitor would undertake about 60% less reef trips per year given a combined 80%, 30% and 70% decrease in coral cover, coral diversity and fish diversity, respectively. This corresponds to a decrease in tourism expenditure for reef trips to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park of about A$ 136 million per year.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter C. Roebeling & M.E. Kragt & A. Ruijs, 2006. "Effects of Great Barrier Reef Degradation on Recreational Demand: A Contingent Behaviour Approach," Working Papers 2006.45, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.45

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Wilcoxen, Peter J., 1998. "The theoretical and empirical structure of the G-Cubed model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 123-148, January.
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    4. Andrea Bigano & Maria Berrittella & Roberto Roson & Richard S.J. Tol, 2004. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of Climate Change Impacts on Tourism," Working Papers 2004.127, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Francesco Bosello & Roberto Roson & Richard Tol, 2007. "Economy-wide Estimates of the Implications of Climate Change: Sea Level Rise," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(3), pages 549-571, July.
    6. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, January.
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    More about this item


    Coral Reef; Recreation; Contingent Behaviour Model; Count Data Models;

    JEL classification:

    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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