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Title: Ecosystem services valuation: an alternative tool to measure sustainable development in tourism
Authors: Suárez Rojas, Chaitanya 
Araña Padilla, Jorge 
UNESCO Clasification: 531290 Economía sectorial: turismo
Keywords: Tourism
Sustainable development
Ecosystem services
Valuation framework
Issue Date: 2018
Conference: Gran Canaria SSTD2018: III Spring Symposium on challenges in tourism development
Abstract: Tourism is a very particular activity, mostly characterized by interactions between the visitor and the natural environment. The non-market structure of such a relationship fosters serious challenges for using conventional economic tools (i.e. market prices) to understand social behaviour and well-being, and make decisions (Daily, 1997; Boyd & Banzhaf, 2007; TEEB, 2010; Maes et al., 2012; Obst et al., 2016). Therefore, the use of indicators like Gross Domestic Product (GDP), number of tourist arrivals or tourist expenditure, have been criticized for measuring development in destinations and designing sustainable tourism strategies (Pouta et al., 2006; Malik et al., 2010; Hung et al., 2012; Thrane & Farstad, 2012; Brida & Scuderi, 2013). As a result, there is an increasing literature aimed at proposing alternative accounting measures and tools such as Green (El Sefary, 1997; Heal & Kriström 2005; Vanoli 2005; MA 2005; Obst et al., 2016), Well-Being (Krueger et al., 2009; Dolnicar, et al., 2013; Uysal, 2016; Smith & Diekmann, 2017; Croes, et al., 2018) and Ecosystem Accounting (Riensche et al., 2015; Church et al., 2017, Zilio et al., 2017). Nevertheless, these measures do not contribute to the entirely economic visibility of nature, and the need of different alternative indicators have been raised (El Sefary, 1997; TEEB, 2010; Banzhaf & Boyd, 2012; Obst et al., 2016; Uysal, 2016; Smith & Diekmann, 2017). Here, we propose the use of an Ecosystem Services Valuation (ESV) Framework to measure Sustainable Development in tourism. ESV has been developed to measure in physical and monetary terms, changes between social-structure and ecological dimension. It provides a framework to measure what can be produced and compare it with what society want to be produced, contributing to determine the most appropriate natural environment management in consonance with a growth economy-tourism based. Moreover, this method encompasses a wide range of techniques and can be executed in combination with other tools, such as methodologies based on surveys. In this study we apply the ESV Framework for designing of a sustainable development strategy in Murdeira Bay (Cape Verde). The first stage consisted in identifying the natural environment structures and ecosystem services that allow potential tourism development (Riensche et al., 2015). Then, an expert elicitation analysis was implemented to design alternative tourism development scenarios for the bay (EPA, 2009; Johnston et al., 2012; Van Houtven et al., 2014). A Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) was employed to elicit visitor preferences for those scenarios (Johnston et al., 2012; Lewis et al., 2015; Oleson et al., 2015; Vorlaufer et al., 2017). DCE data allows to estimate demand functions for alternative tourist products in destinations. By using a value transfer application (Brander et al., 2012), the value of changes in the ecosystem services can be approximated by the elicited DCE demand functions. Results show that ESV is a simple and promising tool for guiding and designing sustainable tourism policies. The application of ESV improves the understanding of the contributions of the environment to the economy, monitoring ecosystem services and measuring their monetary value through the use of exchange values consistent with the conventional economic accounting in tourism (Science for Environment Policy, 2015; Barbier, 2016; Marre et al., 2016; Turner et al., 2016). Nevertheless, some limitations that need to be addressed in order to develop consistent valuation within ESV framework (Edens & Hein, 2013; Obst et al., 2016) are also identified in the study.
Appears in Collections:Actas de congresos
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