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Title: The market triumph of ecotourism : a social cost-benifit analysis of a rainforest ecotourism cluster in Amazonian Peru
Author: Kirkby, Christopher A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 2324
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2010
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Since the 1980s, ecotourism has attracted an enormous amount of investment and policy attention, because ecotourism potentially delivers both the conservation of wild nature and the sustainable development of local societies, particularly in rural regions of developing countries where wilderness is usually abundant but where investment is lacking and governance weak. For ecotourism to fulfil this promise, we need to understand where, how and why it works, a task made difficult by an activity that combines environmental, social and economic systems. This study is centred on the ecotourism destination area ofTambopata, Peru - arguably the principal ecotourism destination in the Amazon. Chapter 1 measures the magnitude and distribution of economic benefits generated from tourism and shows how the profit motive of lodge operators can translate into a diverse array of successful forest conservation strategies, as long as an appropriate governance structure is put in place. Chapter 2 presents a social cost- benefit analysis of ecotourism land use, finding that the net present value of ecotourism- controlled land from a producer surplus perspective is higher than all currently practiced alternatives, including unsustainable logging, ranching, and agriculture and that the amount of carbon sequestration on ecotourism lands is high. Chapter 3 tests whether vertebrate communities are directly reduced around tourist-used forest trails. Direct, negative environmental impacts can, in theory, incentivize lodge owners to reduce investment in conservation activities. No such impact is detected; instead, variation in historical hunting pressure explains variation in wildlife among lodges. In conclusion, I find that ecotourism in Tambopata is profitable, that profits finance conservation actions, that ecotourism land is more valuable from a private and social perspective than are alternative uses, and that intensive use of forest trails does not result in perverse damage to the animal communities that are one of the region's major tourist attractions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available