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St Helena Marine Tourism Values 2019


Tourism is the key driver for economic development on St Helena, which has included the building of a runway and airport funded by the UK Government. There has been a steady increase in tourist numbers to around 3,000 visitors per year, including those visiting friends and family, since commercial flights commenced towards the end of 2017. As knowledge of how unique the experience of snorkelling with St Helena’s whale sharks has spread, St Helena Tourism has capitalised on this by featuring the experience prominently in marketing literature and promotional items. Although marine wildlife tourism has been shown to bring significant economic benefits to Small Island States, it can also have very high social and environmental impacts.

At a consultation workshop, held on St Helena in January 2018, the value of tourism, and in particular, ‘how much would visitors be prepared to pay for nature’s products?’ was highlighted as being of particular importance. Given that whale sharks are potentially one of St Helena’s most valuable assets, a 'willingness to pay' (WTP) study, focussing on this marine species, was conducted, the results of which are described in this report.

This study was undertaken as part of a programme of Natural Capital Assessments (NCAs) in the UK's South Atlantic Overseas Territories implemented by JNCC and conducted by SAERI. Funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the UK Government through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), the work sits under the Environmental Resilience programme which includes objectives to integrate natural capital considerations into economic and social development planning.

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2019·05·01

Smith, N., Drew, J., Andrews, K. & Stevens, N. 2019. St Helena Marine Tourism Values. Natural Capital in the UK’s Overseas Territories Report Series – Supplementary Report (South Atlantic Region). Contracted report to JNCC.

Contracted report to JNCC as part of the 'Natural Capital in the Caribbean and South Atlantic Overseas Territories: Valuation, Vulnerability and Monitoring Change' project.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC distributor

Limitations on public access Open access

Use constraints Open, cite source of data

Metadata date 2021·01·18

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

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