The Economic Value of Coastal Resources in Barbados: Vacation Tourists’ Perceptions, Expenditures and Willingness to Pay
In November 2006 Dr. Peter W. Schuhmann, a natural resource economist from the University of North Carolina Wilmington met with a group of stakeholders at the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) UWI-Cave Hill to discuss potential research priorities for his upcoming (2007) research sabbatical in Barbados. Attendees included individuals from UWI Cave Hill, the Barbados Ministry of Tourism, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, the Environment Division and the Coastal Zone Management Unit. After a brief presentation on economic valuation of natural resources, the group discussed potential areas for research that would serve as a benefit to Barbados. Many areas for valuation work were discussed, including the value of beach width, beach cleanliness, coastal fisheries, marine protected areas and coral reef quality. The valuation of beach and reef characteristics to tourists and the economic impacts resulting from changes in quality were flagged as priority issues. With funding provided by The Ministry of Tourism and in cooperation with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, a valuation survey instrument was designed and tested in the spring of 2007. In addition to collecting information on respondent characteristics and perceptions of their travel experience in Barbados, the survey included a choice modeling questionnaire designed to elicit tourist preferences and willingness to pay for lodging attributes, including characteristics of the beach nearest to the lodging location. This report summarizes the results of the survey and the accompanying econometric analysis.
Area of Interest: Barbados