The Economics of Tourism and Sustainable Development

The Economics of Tourism and Sustainable Development

The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development

Edited by Alessandro Lanza, Anil Markandya and Francesco Pigliaru

Although economics has increasingly become a technical subject, this accessible book aims to present important economics results and relate them explicitly to the policy debate. Using a coherent analytical framework, this unique approach offers prescriptions for moving tourism, and economic development more generally, closer to a sustainable ideal. The authors begin by studying the macroeconomic effect of tourism in terms of growth performance and sources of growth. They also examine how the tourism–growth link is affected by the role of imports in the economy, and how tourism impacts upon land use. Further chapters investigate the important issue of forecasting visitor numbers and explore the need for a comprehensive accounting framework to take account of ecologically sustainable tourism. The authors also examine the microeconomic aspects of sustainable tourism and analyse the increasing popularity of environmentally friendly holidays.

Chapter 9: Using data envelopment analysis to evaluate environmentally conscious tourism management

Valentina Bosetti, Mariaester Cassinelli and Alessandro Lanza

Subjects: development studies, tourism, economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics, tourism, geography, tourism

Extract

1 Valentina Bosetti, Mariaester Cassinelli and Alessandro Lanza INTRODUCTION Decisions taken within the framework of tourism management may have important impacts on the environment that may have in turn feedback effects on the tourism responses. More generally, tourism management practices that are environmentally focused may be reactive, e.g. responding to environmental regulations, or proactive, e.g. effective in order to be competitive with other tourist locations and to satisfy consumers’ preferences. To develop tools which support policy evaluation and decision making processes may be of critical importance in order to account for all the different and often correlated features of the local management of the tourism industry. In order to give guidelines, to correct inefficient management directions and to promote the positive effect of competition between municipalities, the use of performance indicators will prove fundamental. Thus, finding a way to produce simple indicators summarizing different elements which characterize management strategies is crucial to the formation of policy mechanisms. Indeed, as Hart emphasizes, an indicator is ‘something that helps you to understand where you are, which way you are going and how far you are from where you want to be’ (Hart, 1997, p. 67). However, although indicators have a growing resonance in politics, it is often easier to formulate them in theory rather than in practice. In addition to difficulties commonly encountered in selecting good indicators, there might be some additional problems specific to the tourism sector. Indeed, data on tourist areas are...

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