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Estimating consumer surplus and elasticity of demand of tourist visitation to a region in north Queensland using contingent valuation
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by R Greiner, John Rolfe
The Daintree Rainforest is a prime attraction for Tropical North Queensland as a tourist destination. Visitation of the rainforest, specifically the Cape Tribulation section, has increased rapidly as impediments to self-drive access have been removed. This paper examines the potential for the local council to manage the volume of self-drive visitation to the Cape Tribulation region by price mechanisms. Access to the region is by river ferry only. The assessment is based on estimates of willingness to pay from a contingent valuation survey of self-drive tourists to the region, from which estimates of consumer surplus and price elasticity of demand are derived. It is concluded that increasing the price for ferry crossings could be an effective and efficient means of (a) reducing traffic volumes caused by self-drive visitors and thereby alleviating traffic related social and environmental problems, and (b) significantly increasing the resource rent which the municipality can draw from tourism, with additional revenue from the ferry being available for the improved management of this prime tourist destination.