Title: Economic potentials of the aesthetic world heritage sites in the south-west region of Bangladesh

Authors: Md. Karimul Islam; Fariha Farjana

Addresses: Economics Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna-9208, Bangladesh ' Economics Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna-9208, Bangladesh

Abstract: Tourism is increasing at the same pace as the economic development of Bangladesh. The Sixty Dome Mosque and the Sundarbans are the two world heritage sites that have been the major sources of sightseeing for the last few decades. To identify the economic potentials of these two heritage sites, the study uses travel cost method (TCM) and contingent valuation method (CVM). Along with socio-economic elements, travelling habit and site-specific facilities also positively determine the extent of travel demand. Meanwhile, consumer surplus retrieved from TCM shows that the two sites can gain annual aggregate benefit worth US$ 193.51 million. In addition, the use-value estimation suggests that the two sites can elicit aggregate tourism benefit worth US$ 0.29 million annually based on the entry fee. Moreover, each of the tourists is willing to pay US$ 5.78 on an average if the site-centric facilities are upgraded in both sites. US$ 3803.44 million of national conservation value prioritises the preservation of the two sites. Therefore, a long-term preservation funding plan should be initiated beforehand.

Keywords: economic potentials; world heritage site; TCM; travel cost method; contingent valuation method; Sundarbans; Sixty Dome Mosque; tourism value; Bangladesh.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTP.2020.112641

International Journal of Tourism Policy, 2020 Vol.10 No.4, pp.303 - 326

Received: 08 Jun 2020
Accepted: 27 Oct 2020

Published online: 15 Jan 2021 *

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