Vol. 3, Issue 3 (2016)
Valuation of National Parks: An individual travel cost approach
Author(s): Mohammad Younus Bhat, MS Bhatt
Abstract: Currently the most crucial policy poser in India is sustainability and conservation of environmental resources, for their economic valuation is an effective operational tool for designing policies in relation to their sustainable use. National parks perform two-fold functions: in situ preservation of wildlife and recreational use. From the last century a comprehensible concern has outpoured regarding the management of national parks including biodiversity enhancement and on site facilities. However, expedient economic benefits of outdoor recreation are generally gauged by non-market techniques of demand-based Individual Travel Cost Method (ITCM) and Contingent Valuation Method (CVM). Travel Cost Method, rooted in the assumption of ‘weak complimentarity’ between consumption expenditure and environmental asset, through consumption behaviour determines a value of non-market environmental resource. The TCM has been strictly adhered to estimate the recreation use values of the Dachigam National Park as well as value estimates crucial to the development of the park acquisition and management policy. Results show that consumer surplus per visitor per visit in present study is equal to Rs. Rs. 30,303 (US$481) which translates into an annual aggregate value of Rs. 28, 65, 79,780 (US$45, 48,885).