Title: Application of travel cost method to estimate tourism recreational value of Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden, Guwahati, Assam, India

Authors: Ajay Kumar; Kamal Deka; Dinesh Kumar Meena

Addresses: Forest Ecology and Climate Change Division, Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat, 785010, Assam, India ' Centre for Ecology, Environment and Sustainable Development, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati, 781013, Assam, India ' Forest Ecology and Climate Change Division, Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat, 785010, Assam, India

Abstract: Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden spreads across 175 hectares and attracts more than 0.50 million domestic tourists every year. Travel cost data for quantification of economic value of recreational services of the zoo was collected through direct interview of 324 visitors. Different socio-economic characteristics of tourists that influence individual consumer surplus were also recorded. Results show that average consumer surplus per tourist per visit accruing to domestic tourists was ₹672 and total annual recreational value of the zoo was ₹364.69 million (US$5.21 million) which is almost 20 times to the total revenue (₹18.49 million) earned by the zoo in a year. This clearly shows that revenue collected through entry fee is not reflecting the true economic value of recreational services of the zoo. The results of the study provide enough explanation for enhanced investment from government in the zoo to ensure continued flow of essential ecosystem service.

Keywords: recreational value; travel cost method; TCM; consumer surplus; whole experience demand curve; India.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEA.2021.116683

International Journal of Economics and Accounting, 2021 Vol.10 No.3, pp.340 - 351

Received: 17 Dec 2019
Accepted: 15 Jul 2020

Published online: 11 Jun 2021 *

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