Wildlife viewing: The impact of money-back guarantees

Takahiro Kubo, Taro Mieno, Koichi Kuriyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Wildlife sightings are not always guaranteed. To address this risk, tour operators often offer a money-back guarantee as a refund mechanism. However, studies have overlooked the influences of such refund mechanisms on tourists’ tour participation decisions and tourism revenue. We conducted choice experiments to examine the impact of such mechanisms using a case of Amami rabbit tourism in Japan. We found that the guarantee significantly influences the tourists’ decision-making and tour revenue. In particular, we found that the expected tourist participation rate and tour guide revenue vary drastically depending on the probability of the rabbit encounter. The maximum expected revenue from the tour with a 90% chance was about 20 times larger than that with a 10% chance. This indicates that conserving wildlife to maintain the sighting probability raises tour benefits, creating a win-win situation by balancing conservation and tourism development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalTourism Management
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Choice modelling
  • Conservation-tourism balance
  • Ecotourism
  • Endangered species
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Uncertainty
  • Wildlife tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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