Estimating consumer surplus and elasticity of demand of tourist visitation to a region in North Queensland using contingent valuation

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The Daintree Rainforest is a prime attraction for Tropical North Queensland as a tourist destination. Visitation of the rainforest, specifically the Cape Tribulation section, has increased rapidly as impediments to self-drive access have been removed. This paper examines the potential for the local council to manage the volume of self-drive visitation to the Cape Tribulation region by price mechanisms. Access to the region is by river ferry only. The assessment is based on estimates of willingness to pay from a contingent valuation survey of self-drive tourists to the region, from which estimates of consumer surplus and price elasticity of demand are derived. It is concluded that increasing the price for ferry crossings could be an effective and efficient means of (a) reducing traffic volumes caused by self-drive visitors and thereby alleviating trafficrelated social and environmental problems, and (b) significantly increasing the resource rent which the municipality can draw from tourism, with additional revenue from the ferry being available for the improved management of this prime tourist destination.
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  • Tourism Economics, published bimonthly, is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the economics and finance of tourism worldwide. Articles address the components of the tourism product (accommodation; restaurants; merchandizing; attractions; transport; entertainment; tourist activities); and the economic organization of tourism at micro and macro levels (market structure; role of public/private sectors; community interests; strategic planning; marketing; finance; economic development).

    Fast Track. Tourism Economics Fast Track papers have been peer-reviewed, revised and fully accepted for publication. However, although these are the final versions from the authors, they are unedited manuscripts and will undergo a rigorous editing process before their appearance in an issue of the journal. This means that the Fast Track manuscripts may not conform to journal style in terms of presentation, spelling and other usages. They may also contain errors of typography, grammar, spelling, referencing, etc, all of which will be corrected in the processes of copy-editing and proofreading.
    Tourism Economics operates a Fast Track online publication system so that papers can be published and made available almost immediately on final acceptance by the journal. Each Fast Track article is given a DOI. When the paper is assigned to an issue, this DOI will automatically be transferred to the article in the journal issue.
    Fast Track articles may be cited using the DOI. Citations should include the author's or authors' name(s), the title of the article, the title of the journal followed by the words Fast Track, the year of Fast Track publication and the DOI. For example:

    Smith, J. (2013), Article title, Tourism Economics Fast Track, DOI xxxxxxxx.

    Once the paper has been published in an issue of the journal, the DOI will automatically resolve to that final version and the article can be cited in accordance with normal bibliographical conventions.

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