Assessing the Impact of Biodiversity on Tourism Flows: A Model for Tourist Behaviour and its Policy Implications

33 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2009

See all articles by Giulia Macagno

Giulia Macagno

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei; School of Advanced Studies in Venice Foundation, Università "Ca’ Foscari" di Venezia

Maria L. Loureiro

Istituto Universitario de Estudos e Desenvolvemento de Galicia (IDEGA), Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Paulo A. L. D. Nunes

University of Padua - Dipartimento Territorio e Sistemi Agro Forestali (TeSAF)

Richard S. J. Tol

The Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin; Institute for Environmental Studies, Free University Amsterdam

Date Written: June 24, 2009

Abstract

This analysis provides an example of how biodiversity can be measured by means of different indicators, and how the latter can be used to assess the influence of the biodiversity profile of a region on the tourism flows towards it. Previous studies have considered environmental amenities as one of the determinants of tourism destination choice. The central hypothesis of this paper is that the destination’s biodiversity profile can be considered as a key component of environmental amenities. The main objective of this study is to propose a different perspective on this topic, considering the role of biodiversity on tourists’ choice of destination and duration of stay. Domestic Irish tourist flows have been chosen as a case study. The first step of the analysis required the construction of biodiversity indicators suitable for developing a biodiversity profile of each Irish county. Subsequently, a model was developed so as to explain the total number of nights spent in any location as a function of a set of explanatory variables including information about the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents, biodiversity and the landscape profile of the county of destination and features of the trip. Results show that most of the biodiversity and landscape indicators included in the analysis turn out to be statistically significant in determining tourists’ choices regarding the duration of their trip. As a result, policies pursuing biodiversity conservation appear to have a positive impact on the revenue of regional tourism.

Keywords: species diversity, habitat fragmentation, landscape diversity, trip demand, indicators, ecosystem services, human well-being

JEL Classification: Q57

Suggested Citation

Macagno, Giulia and Loureiro, Maria L. and Dias Nunes, Paulo Augusto and Tol, Richard S. J., Assessing the Impact of Biodiversity on Tourism Flows: A Model for Tourist Behaviour and its Policy Implications (June 24, 2009). FEEM Working Paper No. 21 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1424982 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1424982

Giulia Macagno (Contact Author)

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei ( email )

C.so Magenta 63
Milano, 20123
Italy

School of Advanced Studies in Venice Foundation, Università "Ca’ Foscari" di Venezia

London, WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

Maria L. Loureiro

Istituto Universitario de Estudos e Desenvolvemento de Galicia (IDEGA), Universidade de Santiago de Compostela ( email )

Complejo Docente - Campus Universitario de Lugo
Lugo, A Coruña 15704
Spain

Paulo Augusto Dias Nunes

University of Padua - Dipartimento Territorio e Sistemi Agro Forestali (TeSAF) ( email )

Legnaro, Padova 35020
Italy

Richard S. J. Tol

The Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin ( email )

Whitaker Square
Sir John Rogerson's Quay
Dublin 2
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.esri.ie

Institute for Environmental Studies, Free University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1115
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

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