What's Mavericks worth? Save The Waves says heaps
$24 million per year in economic value at the fabled break
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 February, 2010 : - - Half Moon Bay -- Save The Waves Coalition announced it has completed its second 'Surfonomics' study, a measure of the economic value of the world-famous big-wave break at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, California. The study found that the surfing site and area has an estimated economic value to visitors of nearly $24 million per year, based on approximately 420,000 annual visitors.
“Mavericks is an iconic, world-renowned surf break that’s truly unique,” said Save The Waves executive director Dean LaTourrette. “This study provides evidence of not just its environmental value, but of its economic value as well.
This further reinforces the notion that it and other special coastal areas around the world need and deserve to be protected.” The study, which includes an economic value report as well as an analysis on the value of the break from an ecotourism perspective, will be available beginning on Saturday, February 13th, 2010 at the Mavericks Surf Contest. ©
The study combined the economic value visitors place on the wave with intrinsic or cultural values of a coastal location with a world-class wave such as Mavericks. An important goal of the project was to build a model that can inform decision makers in coastal communities with important waves around the world.
While prior studies of the value of waves have focused on the economic impacts of a contest or industry to local economies, this study looked at the benefits that surfing provides to surfers and observers by focusing on the value they place on the Mavericks wave through what they give up to experience it, as well as their qualitative comments.
The combined study, entitled “The Value of a Wave: An Analysis of the Mavericks Region and the Mavericks Wave from an Ecotourism Perspective,” was conducted by University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, in partnership with the Center for Responsible Travel at Stanford University, under the guidance of Save The Waves Coalition.
The complete study is available just in time for the 2009/2010 Mavericks Surf Contest,© which has been called on Saturday, February 13, 2010, at Mavericks Beach. Save The Waves is an environmental partner for the contest and will have a booth at the event, as well as more detail on the study.
Summary of Key Findings:
1) The wave at Mavericks has an estimated minimum economic value to visitors of $23.9 million per year.1
2) The average visitor is willing to pay a minimum of $56.70 per trip to the Mavericks surf area.
3) Surfers visit the area nearly five times more often than non-surfers and thus accrue more value from the area.
4) The study did not include the Mavericks Surf Contest, which has drawn anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 people to the area on contest day, and thus results in additional economic value to visitors each year.
5) Almost 90% of the respondents labeled surfing an ecotourism activity, and thus important to the cultural and environmental health of the community. Respondents believed that Mavericks helped to positively define the Half Moon Bay area.
1 Based on estimated visitation levels of 421,431 per year
About Save The Waves Coalition: Save The Waves Coalition is an environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the coastal environment, with an emphasis on the surf zone, and educating the public about its value. Save The Waves is a 501(c)3 non-profit.
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