Estimating the Outdoor Recreational Value of Lake Hawassa: An Application of Individual Travel Cost Method (ITCM)

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Addis Ababa University


Many natural resources with great potential for outdoor recreation, in Ethiopia, are not studied well and are subject for various kinds of pollution that may even lead them to irreversible damages. Lake Hawassa, no different from this, is a source of natural attraction and a great place for outdoor recreation. But various problems and different values of the Lake are hindering its sustainability as a place where people can recreate outdoor. Hence a study of its value as an outdoor recreational area is necessary and this study uses the Individual Travel Cost Method (ITCM) of environmental valuation technique for this purpose. Therefore with the main objective of estimating the outdoor recreational value of Lake Hawassa, 155 on site visitor samples were surveyed using a face to face interview. From the results age, travel cost and income were found to be significant determinants of demand for outdoor recreation while the other socio economic variables were insignificant. Using the Truncated Poisson Model (TPM) of regression the individual and total annual outdoor recreational benefit of Lake Hawassa was estimated to be Birr 446.3626 and Birr 72,572,760.12 respectively; while the individual and total annual consumer surplus was estimated to be Birr 227.8583 and Birr 37,046,811.82. Based on the results it is suggested that both the city administration and potential investors should use the result of the study as a base for current and future investment decisions. In addition, as the health of the lake, the flora and fauna species are being endangered by pollution of various types, care has to be given by all and there should be the enactment and implementation of policies and rules that hinder polluting activities and encourage protection of the lake to make sure the sustainable use of the resource.



Outdoor Recreational Value of Lake Hawassa