Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Mahadev Bhat

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Joel Heinen

Third Advisor's Name

Pallab Mozumder

Fourth Advisor's Name

Ligia Collado-Vides

Keywords

Coral Reefs, Contingent Valuation, Marine Protected Areas, Non-Market Valuation

Date of Defense

11-10-2010

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate tourism capacity, the effectiveness of the management plan and the visitors’ willingness to pay (WTP) for increased conservation effort in the Buccoo Reef Marine Park (BRMP) in Tobago. Non-market contingent valuation was applied to estimate tourists’ WTP, using the data from a survey of 164 tourists. Local residents and government agencies were consulted to evaluate the management plan and the tourism capacity.

Eighty-eight percent of local residents stated that the park was not well managed and that they lacked trust in the park agency. The density of tourists was 67-97% more than socially acceptable crowding norm. The tourists were willing to pay an additional entry fee of US$11.72 per person, which would generate additional revenue for the park management. In conclusion, the BRMP management needs modification in order to increase stakeholders’ trust, reduce tourists crowding intensity, and generate additional user-based revenue.

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