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Title:Estimating the Benefits of Public Recreation Sites in Illinois
Author(s):Zalatan, Antoine
Department / Program:Leisure Studies
Discipline:Leisure Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:The remarkable growth in outdoor recreation activity has created a need for a method of estimating the economic value of the enjoyment that consumers obtain from using recreational facilities and resources. In the case of recreation where prices seldom exist, the market fails to register the value of the recreation opportunities consumed; therefore indirect evaluation methods are required to estimate the benefits of recreation. Several methods have been developed to measure recreation benefits. Typically these have been applied to individual sites as if they are in isolation. This situation does not characterize recreation facilities in Illinois where the topology and the high geographical concentration offer the consumer a number of relatively homogeneous recreation sites. In this context it is ill-advised to calculate recreation benefits for each recreation site as if it were a separate entity and a method is ellaborated, in this dissertation, as a first attempt to consider all sites simultaneously.
When valuing the benefits of a single site separately there is no need to take into account the characteristics of the site. Usually a proxy for the benefits derived by a visitor is calculated and total benefits are obtained by summing up the flow of visitors to that specific site whereas the multiple - site approach necessitates the introduction of new variables into the benefit estimation in order to differentiate among sites in terms of the allocated benefits. These variables were selected so that they reflect: (i) economic efficiency of the supplier of recreation opportunities, thus, treating recreation sites as private firms which maximize attendance at the minimum possible cost. (ii) user's costs (transportation costs). It is quite conceivable that the minimum cost site is not necessarily minimum cost to the users if it is located far away from all population centers. Therefore, recreation benefits are optimized when and only when user's costs as well as supplier's costs are kept at a minimum. (iii) site's quality by deflating user's costs by a site attraction index. Distance (user's costs) is not the only criteria for attending a recreation site. Users are attracted by the facilities available, the programs offered, the qualities of the site and other factors which are grouped into an attraction index. This index counteracts the distance - push effect - in the user's benefits function.
This multiple-site approach was applied to fifty recreation sites in Illinois, using a linear programming model to calculate benefits of sites by taking simultaneously into account the substitution effect of all recreation sites.
Issue Date:1981
Description:130 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8127739
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-14
Date Deposited:1981

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