Nature-based tourism value and the demand for responsible tourism on the Agulhas Plain

Presenter(s): Maria Garcia and Beatrice Conradie (CSSR and School of Economics)

Venue: CSSR Seminar Room

Abstract / Description: 

Turpie et al (2003) estimate nature-based tourism in the Cape Floristic Region to be worth R1,067 per hectare constant value 2010 Rand. This estimate is based on actual tourist expenditure and their stated priority on nature as a draw card for them coming to the region. However, in areas where access to nature is free or largely free such as the Agulhas Plain, actual expenditure could substantially underestimate the consumer surplus derived from nature-based tourism. A competing estimate places the value of nature-based tourism at between R 1,462 and R4,665 per hectare, while actual expenditure is estimated to be R1,533/ha. With scarce funding and resources being prioritised to meet human development needs in South Africa, it is critical that conservation benefits be packaged in a way that emphasises their economic contribution to development.  With its emphasis on the three components of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – responsible tourism has been lauded as a key driver for social development, poverty alleviation and economic growth but this paper is the first to demonstrate a demand for responsible tourism exists on the Agulhas Plain. For domestic visitors a social and environmental responsibility self ranking measure correlates with knowledge and actions, suggesting that a awareness raising campaign and an proliferation of responsible tourism offerings will change behaviour towards greater sustainability. For international visitors the evidence is less clear, although clearly more needs to be done to bring these people into the region after which they are quite likely to participate in responsible tourism. *Refreshments will be served*

Thu, 21 Jul 2011 -
13:00 to 14:00