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Distribution of Economic Benefits from Ecotourism: A Case Study of Wolong Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas in China

Distribution of Economic Benefits from Ecotourism: A Case Study of Wolong Nature Reserve for... Ecotourism is widely promoted as a conservation tool and actively practiced in protected areas worldwide. Theoretically, support for conservation from the various types of stakeholder inside and outside protected areas is maximized if stakeholders benefit proportionally to the opportunity costs they bear. The disproportional benefit distribution among stakeholders can erode their support for or lead to the failure of ecotourism and conservation. Using Wolong Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas (China) as an example, we demonstrate two types of uneven distribution of economic benefits among four major groups of stakeholders. First, a significant inequality exists between the local rural residents and the other types of stakeholder. The rural residents are the primary bearers of the cost of conservation, but the majority of economic benefits (investment, employment, and goods) in three key ecotourism sectors (infrastructural construction, hotels/restaurants, and souvenir sales) go to other stakeholders. Second, results show that the distribution of economic benefits is unequal among the rural residents inside the reserve. Most rural households that benefit from ecotourism are located near the main road and potentially have less impact on panda habitat than households far from the road and closer to panda habitats. This distribution gap is likely to discourage conservation support from the latter households, whose activities are the main forces degrading panda habitats. We suggest that the unequal distribution of the benefits from ecotourism can be lessened by enhancing local participation, increasing the use of local goods, and encouraging relocation of rural households closer to ecotourism facilities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Management Springer Journals

Distribution of Economic Benefits from Ecotourism: A Case Study of Wolong Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas in China

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References (44)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Environment; Waste Water Technology / Water Pollution Control / Water Management / Aquatic Pollution; Forestry Management; Atmospheric Protection/Air Quality Control/Air Pollution; Nature Conservation ; Ecology; Environmental Management
ISSN
0364-152X
eISSN
1432-1009
DOI
10.1007/s00267-008-9214-3
pmid
18853224
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ecotourism is widely promoted as a conservation tool and actively practiced in protected areas worldwide. Theoretically, support for conservation from the various types of stakeholder inside and outside protected areas is maximized if stakeholders benefit proportionally to the opportunity costs they bear. The disproportional benefit distribution among stakeholders can erode their support for or lead to the failure of ecotourism and conservation. Using Wolong Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas (China) as an example, we demonstrate two types of uneven distribution of economic benefits among four major groups of stakeholders. First, a significant inequality exists between the local rural residents and the other types of stakeholder. The rural residents are the primary bearers of the cost of conservation, but the majority of economic benefits (investment, employment, and goods) in three key ecotourism sectors (infrastructural construction, hotels/restaurants, and souvenir sales) go to other stakeholders. Second, results show that the distribution of economic benefits is unequal among the rural residents inside the reserve. Most rural households that benefit from ecotourism are located near the main road and potentially have less impact on panda habitat than households far from the road and closer to panda habitats. This distribution gap is likely to discourage conservation support from the latter households, whose activities are the main forces degrading panda habitats. We suggest that the unequal distribution of the benefits from ecotourism can be lessened by enhancing local participation, increasing the use of local goods, and encouraging relocation of rural households closer to ecotourism facilities.

Journal

Environmental ManagementSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 14, 2008

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