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|Title: ||“VALUING THE ECONOMIC BENEFIT OF ECOTOURISM AREAS WITH TRAVEL COST AND CHOICE EXPERIMENT METHODS: A CASE STUDY OF SEMEN MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, ETHIOPIA|
|Authors: ||ALI, YIBRIE|
|Advisors: ||Dr. Alemu Mekonnen|
|Keywords: ||Simen Mountain National Park, Travel cost method, Choice experiment, Recreational Economic Benefit, Marginal willingness to pay, Welfare, Valuation|
|Copyright: ||Jun-2011 |
|Date Added: ||26-Jun-2012 |
|Abstract: ||Simen Mountain National Park is one of the most well-known nature based recreational sites due to it‘s an impressive landscape and endemic wild animals. It was established in 1969 and was inscribed in the list of World Heritage sites by UNESCO in 1978. But this park has been in the list of world Heritage in danger since 1996 due to heavy settlement by farmers, declining numbers of Walia ibex, widespread deforestation and continuous reduction in recreational qualities of the site. Furthermore, the site has been unable to improve the qualities of ecotourism experience and expand the types and variety of its recreational services for a long time because of lack of sustainable income from internal sources. Moreover, the value of the park in terms of its recreational service to the society is not known. Thus, there is a need for valuation of the park to know how much value the people attach to the park so as to demonstrate how the site managers can extract revenue out of the excess benefit so as to improve the qualities of the national park and expand the types and variety of the services. These in turn enables to establish a sustainable and efficient level of operations for the maintenance of the park. In doing so, this study used travel cost and choice experiment valuation methods to estimate and analyze the value visitors attach to the park.
From the travel cost method, the expected aggregate annual recreational economic benefit gained by visitors of the site is estimated at Birr 48,562,086.4 (approximately US$ 2,943,156.7). While the choice experiment method (CE) was employed to measure visitor‘s valuation of different attributes of the site, and to examine their general perception towards the park‘s services and resources. Three attributes that can explain the park‘s quality (namely, the number of Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolf population, afforestation and additional service to visitors) and one monetary attribute were included in choice experiment. Multinomial and random parameter logit models were used for estimation and from this the marginal willingness to pay and welfare impact of the visitors was estimated.
The results of this study indicate that the recreational economic benefit of the park are much larger than what is currently collected by park authorities and thus the park authority can change the current prices of services. Moreover, alleviating the major problems that reduce the quality of the site and supporting improvement and expansion projects are promising for resource users and the management of the park as the visitors are willing to pay to support the plan for the park improvement|
|Description: ||A thesis submitted to the school of graduate studies of Addis Ababa University in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Masters of Science in Economics
(Resource and Environmental Economics)|
|Appears in:||Thesis - Economics|
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