This article is primarily concerned with the economic consequences of World Heritage listing for the valuation of natural properties and the economic impacts of this listing. Australian data is used to throw light on this subject. Conceptual problems that arise in valuation are explored and several neglected limitations of the travel cost method for estimating the demand for visits to natural sites are mentioned. The importance of economic impact analysis in this context (especially its political ramifications) is given attention. The use of World Heritage listing for political purposes is discussed. It is argued that World Heritage listing favours the long-term conservation of natural properties.