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A travel cost analysis of non-market benefits of forest recreation in Great Britain
Payment for ecosystem services (2008)
  • Ayele Ulfata Gelan

It has become increasingly important to know the extent of public benefits from forest recreation sites. The benefits from such ecosystem services have attracted the attentions of researchers and policy-makers. This study estimates non-market economic benefits of forest recreation in Great Britain. It employs Travel Cost method (TC) of recreation demand modelling, which is based on revealed preference of users who incur costs to a forest site. Visitors incur costs in terms of money and time spent during travel. These are used as proxy variables for “price” of accessing forest sites. The study is based on a survey of 1906 individuals at forty four forest sites during the summer of 2002. A revealed behaviour model of forest recreation demand is formulated and then estimated using a negative binomial regression model. Consumer surplus generated due to forest recreation was then estimated. This ranged from £6.90 to £8.36 per person-trip. These figures are obtained by confining the analysis to “out-of-pocket” expenses on travel, without imputing travel time, and excluding other expenses. A few previous TC valuation studies in the UK, mostly undertaken during 1980s and 1990s have consistently estimated considerably lower benefit values, ranging from £0.1 to £4.0 after accounting for inflation. Contingent valuation studies and zonal TC studies have similarly underestimated benefit values. However, a recent TC application estimated a substantially larger consumer surplus, as high as £15 per person-trip. This indicates that our findings lie within a reasonable range compared to previous forest recreation valuation studies in the UK

  • Travel cost method; non-market benefits; forest recreation; negative binomial model
Publication Date
Oxford University Press
Citation Information
Ayele Ulfata Gelan. "A travel cost analysis of non-market benefits of forest recreation in Great Britain" Payment for ecosystem services (2008)
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