New Economic Insights and Case Studies
Chapter 6: Rainforest Tourists: Wildlife and Other Features Attracting Visitors to Lamington National Park, Australia
6.1 INTRODUCTION The focus in this chapter is on the results from a survey of visitors to Lamington National Park (LNP), an outstanding subtropical national park located in southeast Queensland, Australia. A sample of 622 day and overnight visitors to the O’Reilly’s/Green Mountains site of LNP is used to identify their socio-economic and other pertinent characteristics and the main factors and attributes that attract them to this site. Particular attention is given to birds and their attributes as attractions. The comparative importance of factors (especially natural attributes) that attract visitors are assessed. The primary economic injection accruing locally as a result of visits is examined and the difference that the presence of birds makes to local expenditure by visitors is explored. The extent of support for and opposition to the introduction of an entry fee for LNP is estimated. This issue was discussed in detail (and aspects of the responses of visitors to this possibility were modelled) in Chapter 3. Hence, only the general results are reported in this chapter. The entry fees are discussed because suggestions received from visitors for environmental improvements at this site are dealt with here. It is concluded that unless a way can be found to regulate the number of visitors to this site and obtain extra funds to finance improvements, the magnitude of many of its environmental problems will grow. This will necessitate a fresh look at the desirability, or otherwise of charging entry fees to LNP, as discussed in Chapter 3 and Wilson...
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