Comparing recreation benefits from on-site versus household surveys in count data travel cost demand models with overdispersion

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On-site surveys of tourists often lead to overestimates of annual tourism because tourists who are frequent repeat visitors are more likely to be sampled. This unrepresentative sample leads to statistical problems known as 'truncation' and 'endogenous stratification' in widely used travel cost demand models. Further, wide variation in the number of on-site visits among tourists can lead to overdispersion in the dependent variable of count data travel cost models. The authors present the first real-world data correction for all three problems and compare the corrected estimates with the ideal household survey. Correcting for truncation and endogenous stratification in a count data specification allowing for overdispersion (negative binomial specification) lowers the demand and benefit estimate to a mean value not significantly different from the household estimate. If tourism researchers wish to develop visitor use estimates from onsite surveys consistent with household level surveys, the authors' improved demand estimators would allow them to do so with some confidence in the results.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 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).

    Fast Track. Tourism Economics Fast Track papers have been peer-reviewed, revised and fully accepted for publication. However, although these are the final versions from the authors, they are unedited manuscripts and will undergo a rigorous editing process before their appearance in an issue of the journal. This means that the Fast Track manuscripts may not conform to journal style in terms of presentation, spelling and other usages. They may also contain errors of typography, grammar, spelling, referencing, etc, all of which will be corrected in the processes of copy-editing and proofreading.
    Tourism Economics operates a Fast Track online publication system so that papers can be published and made available almost immediately on final acceptance by the journal. Each Fast Track article is given a DOI. When the paper is assigned to an issue, this DOI will automatically be transferred to the article in the journal issue.
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    Smith, J. (2013), Article title, Tourism Economics Fast Track, DOI xxxxxxxx.

    Once the paper has been published in an issue of the journal, the DOI will automatically resolve to that final version and the article can be cited in accordance with normal bibliographical conventions.

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