Discusses the implications of the economic valuation of natural resources used for tourism and relates this valuation to the concept of total economic valuation. It demonstrates how applications of the concept of total economic valuation can be supportive of the conservation of natural resources used for tourism. Techniques for valuing tourism’s natural resources are then outlined and critically evaluated. Consideration is given to travel cost methods, contingent valuation methods, and hedonic pricing approaches before concentrating on current developments of valuation techniques, such as choice modelling. The general limitations of existing methods are considered and it is argued that more attention should be given to developing guidelines that will identify ‘optimally imperfect methods’. An overall assessment concludes this article.