Economic Valuation of the Environment and the Travel Cost Approach: The Case of Ayubia Natioanl Park

Himayat Ullah


Environmental and natural resource systems such as lakes,
rivers, streams, estuaries, forests, and parks provide goods in terms of
resources (e.g., flora, fauna, and minerals) and services (e.g., waste
sink assimilation), a source of amenity services, use for recreational
purposes, and life-support functions. Knowledge of the values of these
services may be important for a variety of reasons. Access to such
resources for recreation is typically not allocated through markets.
Rather, access is typically open to all visitors at a zero price or a
nominal entrance fee that bears no relationship to the cost of providing
access. And there is no or little variation in these access prices over
time or across sites to provide data for econometric estimation of
demand functions [Freeman (1993); Nillesen (2002)]. Ever since the
second half of the twentieth century, concern about current and future
use of our natural resources and environment has emerged at an
increasing rate. This growing concern is accompanied by an increasing
interest in so-called nature-based ecotourism. Presently, both benefits
and threats have been observed resulting from the growing importance of
ecotourism in environmentally sensitive areas [Nillesen (2002)].
Ecotourism plays an important role in increasing natural resource
conservation and economic growth. It may also lead to management and
policy challenges.

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