The significance of environmental values for destination competitiveness and sustainable tourism strategy making: insights from Australia's Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

Esparon, Michelle, Stoeckl, Natalie, Farr, Marina, and Larson, Silva (2015) The significance of environmental values for destination competitiveness and sustainable tourism strategy making: insights from Australia's Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23 (5). pp. 706-725.

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Abstract

Sustainable destinations must deliver products that perform better than their competitors and at the same time protect key environmental drawcards. This research explores the environmental–economic interface of a major destination, both as a case study in how to approach this complex relationship and as a contribution to the methodology of tackling the need for understanding competitive pressures as part of sustainable tourism strategy creation. Using the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) as an example, the paper assesses 21 key environmental values, including Indigenous culture, against market-based factors, in terms of their importance for visitors as regional drawcards, satisfaction with them and the way in which changes in them might affect trip numbers and duration across different regions. While the natural values of the GBRWHA are found to be the most important drawcards, satisfaction scores were significantly lower than importance scores for a number of these values. Visitors responded more negatively to the prospect of environmental degradation than to the prospect of a 20% increase in local prices: the detailed impact depends, however, on location and visitor mix. Clear ocean, healthy coral reefs, healthy reef fish, and lack of rubbish were the top four most important values.

Item ID: 37317
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1747-7646
Keywords: Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area; destination competitiveness; environmental values; visitor perceptions; importance, satisfaction
Funders: National Environmental Research Program (NERP): Tropical Ecosystems Hub
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2015 04:56
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140205 Environment and Resource Economics @ 50%
14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140216 Tourism Economics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960601 Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection @ 40%
90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900301 Economic Issues in Tourism @ 20%
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