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Chapter 4: Applying the Travel Cost Method to Minorca Beaches: Some Policy Results
4 Applying the travel cost method to Minorca beaches: some policy results Pere Riera, Kenneth E. McConnell, Marek Giergiczny and Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu INTRODUCTION Valuation methods can be applied for several purposes. Land management based on social recreational values, and natural resource damage assessment are only two examples where both revealed and stated preference valuation methods can be used. Among the revealed preference techniques, the travel cost method (TCM) is particularly suitable for valuing coastal recreational uses in the formulation of management strategies. The TCM can take different forms. The first variant of TCM applied was the so-called zonal travel cost method. The original idea was outlined by Harold Hotelling (1949) in a letter dated June 1947 to the US National Park Service, answering a request for ideas on how to measure the value of parks. Hotelling made the connection between average frequency of visitation from a given geographic zone of the population and the average cost of the visit depending on how close or how far the zone was from the park, and briefly described how the consumer surplus from visits could be derived. This idea was later applied by Clawson (1959) and Clawson and Knetsch (1966), with much influence on future studies. With the development of econometrics, TCM was able to capture variations in cost and visit frequency at an individual level instead of relying on zonal averages, giving way to the individual travel cost method (Brown and Nawas, 1973). This required that the researcher address the problems of...
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