On the economic rationality of fluctuations in tourist frequentation at nature-based destinations: the case of Corsican seaside hotels

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Abstract:

This paper answers a simple question: are fluctuations, and especially temporary slowdowns or decline, in frequentation always harmful for a tourist destination? The author proposes a simple theoretical model for a nature-based destination, in which a tourist's willingness to pay (WTP) depends on the environmental quality of the place. He hypothesizes that, at some points in time, there is a rational economic incentive to experience a temporary decrease in frequentation in order to allow the stock of natural assets to regenerate. The author uses a sample of 80 seaside hotels in Corsica to show that tourists' WTP for a night stay depends positively on environmental quality. The results indicate that a deterioration of the environmental quality of the destination would reduce the WTP for a night stay in Corsica by more than 25%. This finding tends to confirm the paper's initial hypothesis since, if the environmental quality of Corsica falls, rational hotel owners should ask for a limited and temporary slowdown in frequentation so that the environmental quality and the WTP can regain a higher and more profitable level.

Keywords: CORSICA; ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY; NATURE-BASED DESTINATIONS; WILLINGNESS TO PAY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/te.2012.0124

Publication date: June 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • 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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