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Technical Guidelines for Evaluating the Impacts of Tourism Using Simulation Models


  • J. Edward Taylor



The purpose of this guideline is to make praticioners aware of simulation approaches for the evaluation of tourism projects. Simulation approaches are particularly useful when experimental or economic approaches for project evaluation are not feasible. For example, it usually is not possible to roll out a tourism-promotion program for a randomly chosen “treatment group” while excluding the program’s benefits for a “control group” at the tourist destination. The guideline explains why a simulation approach is useful for tourism impact analysis, what a simulation model for the economic analysis of tourism impacts looks like, and data requirements. With the help of an illustrative two-island model, the guideline shows how to construct different kinds of simulation models and how to use simulations to quantify the costs and benefits of tourism and tourism projects. The guideline concludes by discussing some specific IDB projects in which this methodology has been used for tourism impact analysis. The primary goal of this paper is to make development practitioners aware of simulation approaches for tourism impact analysis and of how to integrate these approaches into their project proposals, budgets, and terms of reference for expert consultants.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Edward Taylor, 2010. "Technical Guidelines for Evaluating the Impacts of Tourism Using Simulation Models," SPD Working Papers 1008, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness (SPD).
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:spdwps:1008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dean Yang, 2008. "International Migration, Remittances and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 591-630, April.
    2. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Onil Banerjee & Martín Cicowiez & Jamie Cotta, 2016. "Economic Assessment of Development Interventions in Data Poor Countries: An Application to Belize’s Sustainable Tourism Program," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0194, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    2. Onil Banerjee & Martin Cicowiez & Adela Moreda, 2017. "Reconciliation Once and For All: Economic Impact Evaluation and Social Cost Benefit Analysis," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0207, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    3. Banerjee, Onil & Alavalapati, Janaki R.R. & Lima, Eirivelthon, 2016. "A framework for ex-ante analysis of public investment in forest-based development: An application to the Brazilian Amazon," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 204-214.
    4. Banerjee, Onil & Cicowiez, Martin & Cotta, Jamie, 2016. "Economics of tourism investment in data scarce countries," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 115-138.

    More about this item


    Tourism; Impact Evaluation; Regional Development; Simulation; General Equilibrium Models; Poverty; Development Effectiveness;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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