Crowding externalities from tourist use of urban space

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Abstract:

Popular urban tourist destinations are attracting large numbers of both overnight visitors and excursionists. Since urban cities perform a multitude of functions, the space requirements of tourists can, at times, interfere with those of local users. This paper addresses the issue of disutilities of space congestion through a dichotomous choice experiment model in order to offer a monetary valuation of tourist crowding in urban public space. A resident survey was carried out in the city of Amsterdam in order to estimate a random parameter logit model through which the residents' willingness to pay to avoid unfavourable crowding situations could be assessed. Their willingness to pay in order to increase the use levels by visitors in the Dam area from 'not at all crowded' or 'not crowded' to 'crowded' was, respectively,€ 1.36 and€ 0.83 annually, while the mean willingness to pay for a decline in the use level from 'very crowded' to 'crowded' was estimated to be€ 11.06 a year. While tourism is only partly responsible for these crowding levels, the results demonstrate that the social effects of tourist consumption can be positive as well as negative, depending on the existing use level and attitudinal perceptions of residents.

Keywords: CHOICE EXPERIMENTS; CROWDING; EXTERNALITIES; PUBLIC SPACE; WILLINGNESS TO PAY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/te.2012.0130

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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