Non-market valuation of beach recreation using the travel cost method (TCM)in the context of the developing world : an application to visitors of the Ngoe beach Kribi, Cameroon
Abstract: This thesis focused on using the travel cost method (as a non-market valuation technique) to value beach recreation in a developing country (Cameroon) where little or no previous works of this kind have been conducted before. The Ngoé beach was used as a case study based on the fact that a reasonable number of visitors and tourists visit the beach and also because Kribi is a popular resort town in Cameroon. Given the nature of the work, an onsite survey was inevitable. The questionnaire used for the onsite survey was designed to capture socio-economic variables about visitors (such as age, monthly income, level of education, employment status, gender and nationality), travel cost component variables (such as round trip travel cost, travel time, time spent onsite, onsite expenses, number of trips undertaken in the past year, just to name a few) and the willingness to pay (WTP) of visitors (in the form of access or entrance fee). The count data (with sample size of 242) that was generated from the survey was modelled with the left truncated Poisson and negative binomial models as well as the zero-inflated negative binomial model. The econometric estimations (carried out with the use of the TSP 5.0 software) showed that the zero-inflated negative binomial model produced better results and based on these econometric results, consumer surplus (CS) estimates per trip per visitor per day were computed for different categories of visitors. These CS estimates are equivalent to the recreational value of the beach per trip per visitor per day and ranged from €2.56 to €41.51. Although different CS estimates were obtained for the different categories of visitors, CS estimates per trip per visitor per day ranging from €9.86 to €37.11 were considered as more appropriate and consistent with the results of other works. Also, a possible access fee to the beach of €2.0 was suggested based on the stated willingness to pay of visitors. The reason for this suggestion is that the Ngoé beach is an open access beach and it was thus interesting to estimate a likely access fee, should someone (probably the municipal authorities) be thinking of implementing an access fee. Another important finding is that tourists had the highest spending propensity than any other category of visitors. Also, visitor’s income was found to have a very small impact on the CS estimates of visitors whereas the stated willingness to pay of visitors was found to largely correlate with their CS estimates. Key Words: Non-market valuation, travel cost method, consumer surplus, recreational value.
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