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Use of Travel Cost Models in Planning: A Case Study

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This article examines the use of the travel cost method in tourism-related decision making in the area of nonconsumptive wildlife-associated recreation. A travel cost model of nonconsumptive wildlife-associated recreation, developed by Zawacki, Marsinko, and Bowker, is used as a case study for this analysis. The travel cost model estimates the demand for the activity based on the premise that those who live farther from the recreation opportunity will have to spend more to participate and, hence, will participate less often. The model is examined, and the nonmarket benefits obtained from the model, application of the results to decision making, problems associated with using the model, and the use of the results to supplement economic impact analyses are discussed. One important problem associated with this type of model is the lack of agreement on the value of participant time, a variable that can directly affect the value of the experience. The model can be used to assess the effect of demographic variables, such as race, as well as the effect of substitute activities and sites.

Keywords: Key words: Travel cost; Tourism; Travel cost model

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *Department of Forest Resources, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634 2: †Risk Management, American Express, Phoenix, AZ 85020 3: ‡USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Athens, GA 30602

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.

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