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Free Content Hiking in the Alps: exploring substitution patterns of hiking destinations

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Tourism in the Alps used to rely on a network of facilities maintained in part by the military Alpine Corps. Hiking has been growing in popularity, while the national draft is no longer compulsory. This situation calls for a renewed approach to management of the maintenance of alpine facilities. The authors explore the use of destination choice models which allow for various substitution hypotheses and highlight how single mountain sites can be substitutes for others, although located in a different geographical area. The results supply helpful information for local policy decision makers as they provide insights about the redistribution of visits following the implementation of different policy scenarios. The authors investigate such redistributions following the variation of availability to hikers in terms of alpine shelters, length of trails, site access and the application of access fees. They also estimate changes in welfare for selected variations of alpine facilities and availability of destinations. The findings highlight the sensitivity of results to the use of different specifications of demand models to guide local policy strategies.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2008

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  • Tourism Economics, published bimonthly, is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the economics and finance of tourism worldwide. Articles address the components of the tourism product (accommodation; restaurants; merchandizing; attractions; transport; entertainment; tourist activities); and the economic organization of tourism at micro and macro levels (market structure; role of public/private sectors; community interests; strategic planning; marketing; finance; economic development).

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