Determining the recreational value of forest park by travel cost method and defining its effective factors

https://doi.org/10.17221/12/2016-JFSCitation:Pirikiya M., Amirnejad H., Oladi J., Ataie Solout K. (2016): Determining the recreational value of forest park by travel cost method and defining its effective factors. J. For. Sci., 62: 399-406.
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Considering the importance of recreation and excursions in household’s basket of expenditures on the one hand, and not paying attention to the economic value of recreational function for natural resources and environment as non-market goods on the other hand, this paper was written with the aim of estimating the recreational value of Shahid Zare Sari Forest Park when using the individual travel cost method. Requested data sets were obtained by completing questionnaires from 302 individuals who visited the above-mentioned park in 2012–2013. In the individual travel cost method, for the investigation of distributional effects of variables on the number of travels, a linear regression model was applied. For this purpose the travel generation function using linear, double log, linear-log and log-linear forms was estimated. Among these forms, according to the econometrical parameter, a linear function was selected and parameters were estimated based on the method of ordinary least squares. The consumer surplus was 12.53 USD per each visit and the annual recreational value of 72,500 people who visited the park annually was 52,558 USD·ha–1. The findings also showed that the involved variables, travel costs, income and visitor’s distance were statistically significant at 1% level and family and education were significant at 5% level. Results revealed that forest parks have a considerable recreational value that, from this point of view, can help programmers and executives, social and economic managers in the preservation planning and sustainable utilization of natural resources.
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