South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 16, No 2 (2013)

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An estimate of the recreational value of the Agulhas Plain, South Africa, with special reference to the value of plant biodiversity

Beatrice Conradie, Maria Garcia

Abstract


The Agulhas Plain is a remarkable recreational site which combines the attraction of a pristine marine environment with exceptional plant biodiversity, rural tranquillity and the novelty of being at the southernmost tip of Africa. The resource is a public good to which the market cannot assign a full value. This paper presents an estimated recreational value based on individual travel cost models and a sample of 370 visitors surveyed in 2010. Trip demands were estimated with zero truncated negative binomial models to account for over-dispersion. The study established a recreational value of R2.167 billion in 2010 prices for the site as a whole. By partitioning the sample into visitors who indicated having been attracted or not to the area by its nature and biodiversity, a net biodiversity value of R2 866 per trip was calculated. Allocated between marine and terrestrial resources based on the proportion of activities related to each type of resource, the value of plant biodiversity was estimated to be R2 268 per hectare in 2010to 2010 prices.

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EISSN 2222-3436 (Online)