Using tourism economic data for analysis, reporting and influencing decision-making

Published: 05 February 2019
Last edited: 02 October 2020

The main objective of tourism and recreation economic analysis have been used for public relations objectives. Common objectives of tourism economic analyses have been to increase support for raising PA budgets, for building partnerships, and for influencing local policies and planning decisions.


These types of uses require lower levels of detail or accuracy compared with other studies focused on evaluating management alternatives for specific PA issues, like decisions about new investments, facilities or services. For instance, park managers may wish to use this tool for the purpose of adaptive management and/or integrate economic impact evaluation with a livelihoods or social analysis of the PA that reveals non-monetary benefits and costs. In such cases, the study should be designed to allow for estimation of local level impacts.


At the same time, government administrators may wish to compare the national level value of a park with other land uses or parks in similar regions. What is important is that major stakeholders are consulted prior to the design phase so that chosen measures and their relationship to the park reflect what is desired to be known by the intended audience.


Communication, outreach and awareness building
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Evaluation, effectiveness measures and learning
Legal and policy frameworks, policy advocacy
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Documentation and dissemination of results

Enabling factors

The presentation of the results should be focused on the purpose of the report and the audience. Figures and examples facilitate the public understanding. In order to support presentations,

Lessons learned

PA managers should communicate the TEMPA results in order to raise awareness among policy-makers, conservation and commercial stakeholders, local communities, and the public at large of the value that PAs serve not just for conservation but also as engines for benefit-sharing.


Results should be communicated in terms that are understandable to the intended audience. Normally, a summary and glossary of economic terms is helpful for most audiences. The most common measures are sales, income, jobs, GDP and taxes; formal definitions of the measures are also needed to clarify these terms and the measurement units. 

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