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On the economic rationality of fluctuations in tourism frequentation at nature-based destination: the case of Corsica seaside hotels

Giannoni, Sauveur (2011): On the economic rationality of fluctuations in tourism frequentation at nature-based destination: the case of Corsica seaside hotels.

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to answer a simple question: Are fluctuations, and especially temporary slow-downs or decline, in frequentation always harmful for a tourism destination? I propose a simple theoretical model for a nature-based destination, in which the willingness to pay (WTP) of a tourist for the destination depends on the environmental quality of the destination. I hypothesize that, at some points in time, there exists a rational economic incentive to experience a decrease in frequentation for a while in order to let the stock of natural assets regenerates since the fall in environmental quality is associated with a lower willingness to pay for the destination. Then I use a sample of 80 seaside hotels of Corsica to show that the WTP of tourists for a night-stay positively depends on environmental quality. Results indicate that a deterioration of the environmental quality of the destination would reduce the willingness to pay for a nigh-stay in Corsica of more than 25%. It tends to confirm my initial hypothesis since if the environmental quality of Corsica falls rational hotel owner should ask for a limited and temporary slow-down in frequentation so that environmental quality and the WTP reach again a higher and more profitable level.

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