Title: Willingness to pay for improved quality of trekking in Manang, Nepal

Authors: Bishwa S. Koirala; Alok K. Bohara; Robert P. Berrens

Addresses: Department of Economics, John Cook School of Business, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO 63108, USA ' Department of Economics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA ' Department of Economics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA

Abstract: This study investigates international trekkers' willingness to pay (WTP) for three different quality improvements, which are aimed at promoting sustainable trekking in Manang, Nepal: (1) a guided additional trekking (nature walk) in the Annapurna Conservation Area; (2) an extended village tour in the Nar Phu Valley of Manang, for greater cultural understanding and (3) upgrades to a museum of Tibetan artefacts. This study uses data collected from a 2005-2006 in-person sample of trekkers in Nepal and a contingent valuation survey questionnaire. Results show that the proposed trekking quality improvements have positive economic values, with relative WTP per trekker of about US $35-$38 for the improved nature walk, US $11–$17 for the village tour and US $9-$15 for the museum quality improvements.

Keywords: Manang; Nepal; trekking quality; contingent valuation; WTP; willingness to pay; sustainable trekking; sustainability; international trekkers; quality improvement; nature walks; cultural understanding; culture; museum improvements; Tibetan artefacts; economic value.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2013.054714

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2013 Vol.5 No.3, pp.250 - 265

Available online: 07 Jun 2013

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