Non-market Value of Winter Outdoor Recreation in the Swiss Alps: The Case of Val Bedretto
A longstanding interest from environmental economists on winter outdoor recreation has overlooked activities practiced outside the boundaries of winter resorts—e.g. ski mountaineering. This paper implements the Travel Cost Method to estimate consumer surplus per season derived from ski mountaineering and snowshoeing in Val Bedretto—a valley located in the Swiss Alps. In addition, the Contingent Behavior Method is used to estimate the changes in welfare associated with the construction of an alpine center that would provide services aiming to reduce the risk of injury and death associated with winter outdoor recreation. The data is analyzed by means of latent class panel on-site count models. The latent class approach allows us to identify subpopulations that benefit from the alpine center. The results show that 33% of visitors would experience an increase in their consumer surplus per season equivalent to €31 per visitor.
Environmental and Resource Economics
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