Date of Original Version
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
One concern with offshore wind energy development is a negative impact to tourism. In this paper we assess this concern by examining how the Block Island Wind Farm, the first of its kind in the United States, has impacted the vacation rental market. Using data from AirBnb, we estimate a difference-in-differences model that compares Block Island to three nearby tourist destinations in Southern New England before and after construction. Our results suggest that construction of the Block Island Wind Farm caused a significant increase in nightly reservations, occupancy rates, and monthly revenues for AirBnb properties in Block Island during the peak-tourism months of July and August, but had no effect in other months. The findings indicate that offshore wind farms can act as an attractive feature of a location, rather than a deterrent.
Carr-Harris, A., & Lang, C. (2019). Sustainability and tourism: the effect of the United States’ first offshore wind farm on the vacation rental market. Resource and Energy Economics, 57, 51-67. doi: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2019.04.003
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.reseneeco.2019.04.003