Live-aboard dive boats in the Great Barrier Reef: regional economic impact and the relative values of their target marine species

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Abstract:

Using data collected from more than 1,000 tourists on live-aboard dive boats operating in the Cairns/Cooktown management area of the Great Barrier Reef, this paper estimates the regional economic impact of that live-aboard industry. It also uses a subset of these data (247 respondents) to investigate some of the relative 'values' of key marine species seen on the trips that included the Coral Sea location of Osprey Reef and which targeted multiple species of wildlife. The authors find that (i) each year, the live-aboard dive boats are directly responsible for generating at least AU$16 million worth of income in the Cairns/Port Douglas region; (ii) visitors participating in different types of trips gain their highest levels of 'satisfaction' from interacting with different types of species; and (iii) visitors to Osprey Reef would be willing to pay more for a 'guaranteed' sighting of sharks than they would for a 'guaranteed' sighting of large fish, marine turtles or a 'wide variety of species'.

Keywords: ECONOMIC IMPACT; GREAT BARRIER REEF; LIVE-ABOARD DIVE BOATS; MARINE TOURISM; WILDLIFE VALUES; WILLINGNESS TO PAY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/te.2010.0005

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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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.
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    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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