Marine reserves are increasingly being established as a mechanism to protect marine biodiversity and sensitive habitats. As well as providing conservation benefits, marine reserves provide benefits to recreational scuba divers who dive within the reserve, as well as to recreational and commercial fishers outside the reserve through spill-over effects. To ensure benefits are being realised, management of marine reserves requires ongoing monitoring and surveillance. These are not costless, and many marine reserve managers impose an entry fee. In some countries, dive tourism is major income source to coastal industries, and a concern is that high entry fees may dissuade divers. In this paper, the price elasticity of demand for dive tourism in three countries in South East Asia - Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia - is estimated using a travel-cost model. From the model, the total non-market use value associated with diving in the area is estimated to be in the order of US$4.5 billion a year. The price elasticity of demand in the region is highly inelastic, such that increasing the cost of diving through a management levy would have little impact on total diver numbers.
- Coral reef management
- Entry fee
- Non-market valuation
- Travel cost model
Pascoe, S., Doshi, A., Loper, C., Calgaro, E., Thébaud, O., Thomas, C. R., ... Wallmo, K. (2014). Estimating the potential impact of entry fees for marine parks on dive tourism in South East Asia. Marine Policy, 47, 147-152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2014.02.017