Banerjee, Onil; Cicowiez, Martin; Ochuodho, Thomas; Masozera, Michel; Wolde, Bernabas; Lal, Pankaj; Dudek, Sebastian; Alavalapati, Janaki R. 2018. Financing the sustainable management of Rwanda's protected areas. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. (Abstract)
Rwanda's Nyungwe National Park is a biodiversity hotspot with the most endemic species in the ecoregion and the highest number of threatened species internationally. Nyungwe supplies critical ecosystem services to the Rwandan population including water provisioning and tourism services. Tourism in the Park has strong potential for financing enhanced visitor experiences and the sustainable management of the Park. This paper explores quantitatively the economic impacts of adjustment in Park visitation fees and tourism demand as a source of revenues to improve Park tourism opportunities and ongoing operations and maintenance. The methods developed in this paper are novel in integrating the results of stated preference techniques with a regional computable general equilibrium modelling approach to capture multisectoral, direct, indirect and induced impacts. Such methods have strong potential for assessing revenue generation alternatives in other contexts where park managers are faced with the need to generate additional revenue for sustainable park management while facing diminishing budget allocations. Results of this analysis demonstrate that adjustment of Park fees has a relatively small impact on the regional economy and well-being when compared with a strategy aimed at generating increased tourism demand through investment in improving the visitor experience at Nyungwe National Park.