Tourism Economic Model in Protected Areas (TEMPA) assessment tool

Published: 05 February 2019
Last edited: 04 June 2019

As part of a larger effort to assess the socio-economic impacts of GEF-funded Protected Areas, the Tourism Economic Model for Protected Areas (TEMPA) was developed to help guide project managers and others in the collection, analysis and display of tourism spending data using an easy to use spreadsheet-based tool, which is also provided. Despite the fact that economic impact analysis has been applied in many countries, such as, USA, Canada, Australia, Finland,  Namibia, and South Africa, this preliminary version of the tool and accompanying spreadsheet represents an initial step in a longer process of testing and refining TEMPA in a wide range of protected area categories globally. At present, TEMPA has been tested only in one selected park in Southern Africa, and nationally for Brazil. Results show significant direct and indirect economic gains from parks at the local and national level. It is hoped that the widespread use of tools such as TEMPA can continue to build from this effort to highlight the important multi-faceted role that protected areas play in supporting nature and livelihoods.



Collection of baseline and monitoring data and knowledge
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Evaluation, effectiveness measures and learning
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

Estimating the economic effects of visitor expenditure


Economic Effects = Number of Visitors * Average spending per visitor * Economic multipliers 


To complete the analysis, the manager undertaking a park study needs to collect or estimate the following:


  1. the number of visitors who visit the parks and surrounding area;
  2. the average spending per visitor in the region, and;
  3. apply economic multipliers to measure the ripple effects of expenditure within the region (TEMPA).

Lessons learned

The TEMPA model assists the manager with entering data and calculating the economic impact of a park. Setting up the calculations to estimate the economic effects of tourism expenditure may seem rather daunting, especially to people with little experience in economics and the analysis of economic data.  Therefore, the model that will do most of the work, and is likely to surprise with how easy it is to use.