Valuation of spinner dolphin excursions in Hawaiʻi

Boehle, Katya
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Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) tours, offering varying levels of interaction, are popular with Hawaii's visitors and residents and these dolphins are one of the State's common property natural resources that can be subject to over use. Spinner Dolphins are not a threatened or endangered species and therefore regulations regarding who can supply trips to see them and what activities they offer do not exist. Some people are now making claims that dolphin tour operators are offering dolphin interactions past the point of maximum sustainable yield however little information exists about the demand and supply of dolphin interactions. The purpose of this research is to investigate the dolphin interaction industry and to quantify consumers' willingness to pay for such experiences in order to determine what limiting the supply would do to industry revenues. Two surveys were done in this research. A supplier survey interviewed dolphin tour operators and determined five key characteristics in dolphin tours. From this a consumer survey was created in which participants were asked a variety of demographic and preference questions. After an initial industry examination it was determined that the average dolphin tour price was $111. The customer survey yielded that the average willingness to pay for a dolphin excursion was $152. By using a logit model a value of $104 was determined as the worth of dolphin tour excursions. The model was also asked to examine the interactions between seven demographic descriptors and five key characteristics of dolphin tours.
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 92-95).
ix, 95 leaves, bound ill. 29 cm
Dolphin watching industry -- Hawaii, Stenella longirostris -- Hawaii
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