Edited by Larry Dwyer and Peter Forsyth
Chapter 16: Valuation of Tourism’s Natural Resources
Clem Tisdell Introduction and importance Much tourism depends on the environment(s) at the destination(s) of tourists. Such environments may be natural, cultural, or partly man-made and partly natural. In fact, few tourist destinations involve completely natural environments. For example, the environments of most national parks are to some extent human modiﬁed, for instance by access roads, walking tracks, built facilities such as toilets, picnic tables and camping areas (often near entry points) and so on. Because access to many environmental goods, such as beaches, national parks and other open-air recreational facilities are either not priced or only partially priced, there is a danger of their not being valued (when they are economically valuable) or of their being undervalued from an economic point of view. Consequently, this can distort economic resource allocation. Land areas which would be best left in a relatively natural state for tourism and other purposes may, for example, be developed for uses such as agriculture or housing. From an economics perspective, rational decisions about resource use or allocation require appropriate economic valuations to be made about their alternative uses. Pigou (1938), in developing the subject of welfare economics, suggested that economic valuation might be best based, from an operational viewpoint, on monetary values. Money enables economic values to be expressed in a single unit of measurement and facilitates the comparison of economic values. It is the basis of social cost–beneﬁt analysis. According to this approach, the aim of economic valuation of a...
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