Environmental Management and the Competitivesness of Nature-based Tourism Destinations
Environmental management, either voluntary or imposed, can add to the costs of nature-based tourism businesses. Such costs can make tourism destinations less competitive, but the same activities can also enhance competitiveness by increasing demand. The aim of this book is to provide an assessment of the relative importance of these two opposing effects in the context of a case study of nature-based tourism in Tropical North Queensland, Australia.The authors estimate the demand side effects using discrete choice modelling to determine the impact of changing environmental conditions on the market share of a variety of tourist destinations. The costs of environmental management are also considered by analysing firm level data. The effects are then integrated using a model of the tourism market that is formulated around nature-based tourism regions. The results show that the competitiveness of a region is enhanced through its environmental management and highlight the importance of self-regulation in the industry when the environment is a common property resource. The authors also draw some insightful conclusions regarding business strategies that would aid the profitability of firms and regions supplying nature-based tourism products. The conceptual foundations developed in the book are not restricted by national boundaries and the empirical analyses can be extended to other nature-based tourism destinations and to other relevant policy issues. As such, this book will have a broad appeal amongst environmentalists, scholars of tourism economics and management, and policymakers concerned with the regulation of the tourism industry and its effect on the environment.
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