ECO certification in Queensland's Wet Tropics World Heritage Area: is it good for business?

Esparon, Michelle, Stoeckl, Natalie, and Gyuris, Emma (2013) ECO certification in Queensland's Wet Tropics World Heritage Area: is it good for business? In: Tisdell, Clement A, (ed.) Handbook of tourism economics: analysis, new applications and case studies. World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, pp. 845-869.

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Abstract

Certification is heralded as one of the most effective measures for advancing the sustainable tourism agenda. Yet, if it is to do so, it must encourage tourism operators to alter their behavior. When assessing the success of a certification scheme, it is, therefore, essential to look at the degree to which the scheme engages those who would otherwise be unin­terested - hypothesised here to be those who are primarily motivated by profit. Reasoning that certification can raise profits if it raises revenues and/or decreases costs, this chapter examines both existing literature and new empirical data on the popular Australian ECO certification scheme to draw tentative conclusions about the circumstances in which certification is likely to increase operator revenues. It finds little evidence to suggest that certification will raise revenues unless consumers can, simultaneously, be convinced that certification is capable of 'making a difference'. The policy implication of this finding is that certification schemes must be able to clearly articulate and market this message to tourists if they are to attract more voluntary members and thus advance the sustainable tourism agenda. This is, of course, unless they are concurrently able to lower operator costs - a topic worthy of future study.

Item ID: 26642
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
Keywords: certification; ECO certification; sustainable tourism; willingness to pay; tourism operators; Wet Tropics World Heritage Area;
ISBN: 978-981-4327-07-7
Funders: JCU/MTSRF, Skyrail Rainforest Foundation
Date Deposited: 07 May 2013 02:40
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140216 Tourism Economics @ 45%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management @ 45%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150605 Tourism Resource Appraisal @ 10%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900301 Economic Issues in Tourism @ 50%
90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9098 Environmentally Sustainable Commercial Services and Tourism > 909899 Environmentally Sustainable Commercial Services and Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 35%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 15%
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