What is it about?

Despite the increasing number of tourists to the Galapagos National Park (GNP) over the past two decades, the tourism industry pays little attention to the distinct preferences of tourists towards the park attributes including both its natural resources as well as managerial emphasis. To "monetize" the benefits of these attributes requires to utilize non-market valuation techniques.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show (1) how the identification of tourist preferences and park’s attributes are crucial for understanding the impact tourists' travel decisions have in the Galapagos National Park GNP. (2) A CE model is proposed by using a conditional logit (CL) and random parameter logit (RPL) regressions to allocate the value tourists' are willing to pay for the attributes analyzed. (3) The creation of policies that could bring more revenue, management control, and conservation guidelines in the GNP and other UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


As a native from the Galapagos Islands, I hope that this paper will create awareness among the management of the park and local population to protect this unique place. Our paper makes the following contributions. First, our study presents the first-ever comprehensive estimate of the total economic value of attributes found in land-tourist-sites in the Galapagos Islands national park. Second, our study contributes to the debate on the detailed assessment of what attributes tourists care the most, attach great importance, place a dollar amount to the specific park attributes in terms of visitors' willingness to pay, etc. Third, it adds to the limited amount of non-market valuation studies being focused on valuing UNESCO World Heritage parks by utilizing an innovate approach such as the CE model. Fourth, provides critical information for effective environmental research in natural resource management and its essential for policy decision making.

Renato Perez Loyola
Dalian University of Technology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Economic valuation of recreational attributes using a choice experiment approach: An application to the Galapagos Islands, Tourism Economics, November 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1354816619885236.
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