Skip to main content

2018-06-11 | Peer Reviewed

Peace is much more than doves: The economic benefits of bird-based tourism as a result of the peace treaty in Colombia

Maldonado, Jorge Higinio, Rocio del Pilar Moreno Sanchez, Sophia Espinoza, Aaron Bruner, Natalia Garzón and John Myers. 2018. “Peace is much more than doves: The economic benefits of bird-based tourism as a result of the peace treaty in Colombia.” World Development 106: 78-89.
Download reference Doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.01.015

Colombia has the greatest bird diversity of any country in the world, with approximately 1900 recorded species, equivalent to 20% of all bird species worldwide. Advances made by the Colombian government to achieve greater security within the country – putting an end to the long-standing armed conflict – and to promote ecotourism can help position Colombia as one of the most important bird watching destinations worldwide. This study estimates the economic benefits from bird-based tourism in post-war Colombia. In particular, we estimate the value that members of the US-based National Audubon Society place on a birding tour that includes the participation of local communities (some of whom were victims of the armed conflict), and visits to important areas for bird watching that are increasingly accessible. The study also approximates the demand for international bird watching tourism to the country. Through the application of the contingent valuation method, we show that birding enthusiasts would be willing to pay, on average, an additional $58 per person per day for a tour in Colombia, as compared to a similar tour in terms of duration and services in Costa Rica, currently one of the main tourism destinations for birdwatchers. Our analysis indicates that a total of 278,850 North American bird watchers would be interested in visiting the country, generating an annual profit of $9 million and 7516 new jobs. In addition to confirming demand for bird-based travel, the study provides information about potential visitors’ preferences, which can help guide the development of a strategy to promote bird-based tourism to Colombia.