Estimating Recreational Benefits of the Kuakata Sea Beach: A Travel Cost Analysis
Hossain, Md. Sajib
Islam, A K M Nazrul
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Abstract: Estimating recreational benefits of non-market natural resources is considered crucial for their conservation. When natural resources are degraded by various anthropogenic reasons, it negatively affects the well-being they provide to human society. But in most cases, such effects remain unaccounted as market failure is synonymous with most environmental services and provisioning. Thus, valuation of natural resources and estimation of their diverse economic benefits are important as they can play a great role in the sustainable management of natural resources for human welfare. This study has employed the Zonal Travel Cost Method (ZTCM), a variation of the popularly used TCM technique, for estimating recreational benefits of the Kuakata Sea Beach, one of the highly potential yet unexplored natural tourist destinations in Bangladesh. It is estimated that the Beach produces an annual figure of TK 29.55 million as recreational benefits to the visitors. The study also finds that improvements in the overall environmental quality of the Beach, as well as better roads and transport facilities, are more likely to increase the recreational benefits to visitors and also their visitation rates.