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EE Seminar

Environmental Economics Seminar

Regulating demand: Tourism and the conservation of marine resources


Robbert-Jan Schaap
Post-doc at CEE-M



Ecotourism is put forward as a sustainable alternative to natural resource exploitation for coastal communities. Ideally, tourism acts as a substitute economic activity for resource exploitation, reducing harvesting effort. However, tourism can increase demand for natural resources, such as locally caught fish. Subsequent increases in resource prices can motivate resource users to increase harvesting effort. We exploit a negative shock on tourism exogenous to environmental quality, to estimate the causal effect of ecotourism on natural resource exploitation in the Galapagos Islands. We find that tourism has a positive effect on fishers revenue by substantially increasing resource prices. Total fishing effort is unaffected by the presence of tourists, however tourism shifts effort to higher value species. This has a negative effect on environmental quality as the higher value species are more susceptible to overfishing. Our results suggest that conservation goals could be negatively impacted by ecotourism.

Practical information


Montpellier SupAgro / INRA - Bat. 26 -Salle Océanie
2 Place Viala 34000 Montpellier

Dates & time

Mar 18 - 18, 2022


Alexandre Sauquet
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Gwenolé Le Velly
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