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Wild CapitalNature's Economic and Ecological Wealth$
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Barbara K. Jones

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401049

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401049.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

The Ecotourist Question

The Ecotourist Question

(p.38) 2 The Ecotourist Question
Wild Capital

Barbara K. Jones

University Press of Florida

The ecosystem services model as a valuation tool for cultural capital relies on human well-being as the metric for assigning nature a value that makes sense in a world full of competing choices. If the entire added value of a forest that includes wildlife habitat, recreation, and carbon sequestration is calculated, its continued existence as an intact forest ecosystem can more effectively compete against alternative uses that could either destroy the forest or diminish its services to us. Without a measurable value determined through marginal cost-benefit analysis and the consumer’s willingness to pay, however, the forest ecosystem would be assigned a dollar value of zero, making development the easy default choice. Since outdoor recreation in nature contributes to our well-being, it becomes one of the tools we can use to assign nature value. Responsible travel as ecotourists involves taking visitors into natural areas to educate them about a region’s natural and cultural heritage, as well as to sustain the well-being of local people. Ecotourism can change our relationship with the natural world, as well as teach us how to be better tourists.

Keywords:   Ecotourism, Ecosystem services model, Added value, Outdoor recreation, Marginal cost-benefit analysis, Willingness to pay, Cultural capital, Cultural heritage, Development

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