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Title: Effects of travel cost and participation in recreational activities on national forest visits

Author: Cho, Seong-Hoon; Bowker, J.M.; English, Donald B.K.; Roberts, Roland K.; Kim, Taeyoung;

Date: 2014

Source: Forest Policy and Economics 40 (2014) 21–30

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: In the face of higher travel costs due to rising gasoline prices and scarce budget resources,we explored differences in the impacts of travel costs on recreational demand for visitors participating in various recreational activities. Five individual travel cost models were estimated, one for each of 5 national forests (i.e., Allegheny, Coconino, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, Ouachita, and Wenatchee). Travel cost had a consistently negative effect on the number of visits (and thus caused losses in aggregate consumer surplus) across all recreational activities and national forests, although the magnitudes of the effects varied significantly. For example, decreased visit numbers (and thus the aggregate loss of consumer surplus) resulting from hypothetical increases in travel costs are greater for non-trail and backpacking-activity participants than for trail and backpacking-activity participants in the Allegheny national forest. This finding implies that increases in funds allocated towards improving non-trail and backpacking-based recreational activities may stemthe loss of consumer surplus due to the decline in visits to the Allegheny national forest caused by the increase in travel costmore than similar increases in funds allocated to trail and backpacking-activities. These results are important because many national-forest managers are facing declining visits resulting from the effects of higher gasoline prices on travel costs. Thus, they can use our results in making decisions about allocating scarce budget resources to recreational activities that have the greatest potential to stem the decline in national-forest visits.

Keywords: National forest visits, Recreational activities, Travel cost, Consumer welfare

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Cho, Seong-Hoon; Bowker, J.M.; English, Donald B.K.; Roberts, Roland K.; Kim, Taeyoung 2014. Effects of travel cost and participation in recreational activities on national forest visits. Journal of Forest Policy and Economics. 40(2014):21-30. 11 p.


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