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Oceans and Coastal Tourism: Integrating Tourism into Bioeconomic Models

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Models of resource sustainability and exploitation have developed as an important management tool for both scientific debate and policy development. Most models are developed to reflect a single resource such as oil, or a single environment such as a river. Bioeconomic modeling of ocean environments has become a major tool for the evaluation and management of fish stocks and fisheries, but rarely incorporates an interrelationship with other economic activities. This article extends a bioeconomic fisheries model by incorporating the economic and physical interrelationships with coastal and marine tourism. Tourists are classified into three basic types (general, water sports, and recreational fishing) representing different interactions with the marine environment, fishing, and coastal communities; the outcome is an assessment of the impact and economic value of tourism within these communities where there is, or has been, some dependence on fishing for their livelihood. A mixture of ECOSIM and STELLA modeling is used to show that certain types of tourism interact most positively with smaller scale fisheries in such a way as to compensate, at a community level, for their inherently "lower efficiency" and higher cost basis than large-scale fishing. It is also demonstrated that it is possible to incorporate an analysis of common pool resource competition between user groups within this model (tourists' and fisheries' use of marine resources) in such a way as to establish a viable numéraire for a tourism user-pays policy. The research is of particular interest in communities or regions where the decline of fish stocks or other problems with fisheries have resulted in regeneration policies (such as PESCA in the EU) where tourism may be viewed as an alternative or complementary economic activity. The concepts of the model can apply equally to, for example, rural tourism in a land-based bioeconomy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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  • Tourism in Marine Environments is an interdisciplinary journal dealing with a variety of management issues in marine settings. It is a scientific journal that draws upon the expertise of academics and practitioners from various disciplines related to the marine environment, including tourism, marine science, geography, social sciences, psychology, environmental studies, economics, marketing, and many more.
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