Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

Keywords

ecotourism, dark skies, economic impact analysis, national parks, light pollution, Colorado Plateau

Abstract

Purpose - This paper aims to examine the economic impact from dark-sky tourism in national parks in the USA on the Colorado Plateau. The Colorado Plateau is a region encompassing parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah that is known for its dark, star-filled night skies. Tourists in national parks are increasingly interested in observing this natural recreational amenity – especially considering that it is an ecological amenity that is quickly disappearing from the planet. Using a 10-year forecast of visitors to the national parks and using standard input-output modeling, it is observed that, for the first time anywhere, the value of dark skies to tourism in this area. The authors find that non-local tourists who value dark skies will spend $5.8bn over the next 10 years in the Colorado Plateau. These tourist expenditures will generate $2.4bn in higher wages and create over 10,000 additional jobs each year for the region. Furthermore, as dark skies are even more intense natural amenity in the non-summer months, they have the ability to increase visitor counts to national parks year-round and lead to a more efficient use of local community and tourism-related resources throughout the year. Design/methodology/approach - Using a 10-year forecast of visitors to the national parks and using standard input-output modeling, we find that non-local tourists who value dark skies will spend $5.8bn over the next 10 years in the Colorado Plateau. Findings - These tourist expenditures will generate $2.4bn in higher wages and create over 10,000 additional jobs each year for the region. Furthermore, as dark skies are even more intense natural amenity in the non-summer months, they have the ability to increase visitor counts to national parks year-round and lead to a more efficient use of local community and tourism-related resources throughout

Comments

Original manuscript title "Star Light, Star Bright: The Economic Impact from Dark Sky Tourism on the Colorado Plateau Economy."

Author Accepted Manuscript (post-print) published in Tourism Review. Deposited under Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/>CC BY-NC 4.0

Published version of this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/TR-10-2018-0146.

Recommended Citation

Mitchell, David, and Terrel Gallaway. "Dark Sky Tourism: Economic Impacts on the Colorado Plateau Economy, USA." Tourism Review (2019)

DOI for the article

http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/TR-10-2018-0146

Department

Economics

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