Munich Personal RePEc Archive

What price recreation in Finland? – A contingent valuation study of non-market benefits of public outdoor recreation areas

Huhtala, Anni (2004): What price recreation in Finland? – A contingent valuation study of non-market benefits of public outdoor recreation areas. Published in: Journal of Leisure Research , Vol. 36, No. 1 (2004): pp. 23-44.

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Abstract

Basic services in Finnish national parks and state-owned recreation areas have traditionally been publicly financed and thus free of charge for users. Since the benefits of public recreation are not captured by market demand, government spending on recreation services must be motivated in some other way. Here, we elicit people’s willingness to pay (WTP) for services in the country’s state-owned parks to obtain an estimate of the value of outdoor recreation in monetary terms. A variant of the Tobit model is used in the econometric analysis to examine the WTP responses elicited by a payment card format. We also study who the current users of recreation services are in order to enable policymakers to anticipate the redistribution effects of a potential implementation of user fees. Finally, we discuss the motives for WTP, which reveal concerns such as equity and ability to pay that are relevant for planning public recreation in general and for the introduction of fees in particular.

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