The Economic Benefits of Mountain Biking at One of Its Meccas: An Application of the Travel Cost Method to Mountain Biking in Moab, Utah

By Fix, Peter; Loomis, John | Journal of Leisure Research, Third Quarter 1997 | Go to article overview

The Economic Benefits of Mountain Biking at One of Its Meccas: An Application of the Travel Cost Method to Mountain Biking in Moab, Utah


Fix, Peter, Loomis, John, Journal of Leisure Research


Statement of Problem

Mountain biking is a relatively new form of recreation compared to activities such as hiking, fishing, and snow-skiing. While these other activities have been studied and their economic benefits to the users estimated (Walsh, Johnson, & McKean, 1992), the authors are not aware of any published studies which have estimated the economic benefits of mountain biking.

It is essential to estimate the economic benefits of mountain biking for several reasons. First, mountain biking has the potential to conflict with other forms of recreation such as hiking and horseback riding, as these activities often use the same trails and these conflicts may increase due to mountain biking's popularity. Mountain biking can also impose special costs on a park such as repairing damaged trails and marking trails. It is essential to estimate the economic benefits of mountain biking to assist in trail allocation and for use in benefit cost analysis of mountain biking specific projects.

This paper uses an individual travel cost model (TCM) to estimate the economic benefits of mountain biking on the trails near Moab, Utah. There are two approaches to the travel cost method: the zonal and individual. The zonal TCM dates back to Clawson and Knetsch (1966). The zonal can be performed without extensive surveying of the visitors, all that is required is origin of visitors and annual number of trips taken. The individual TCM acknowledges that each visitor will have different trip costs, travel time, demographics, etc. and gathers information on each visitor in the sample via a survey. The individual TCM was first proposed by Brown and Nawas (1973).

The TCM is a revealed preference model, meaning it uses actual expenditures by the visitors to estimate a demand curve from which to estimate the benefits. The dollar value which is estimated is not paid by the visitor, but rather it is a dollar value which is retained by the visitor. The economic benefits will be measured in terms of consumer surplus, which can be defined as user willingness-to-pay over and above the actual travel expenditures (Siderelis & Moore, 1995, p. 345).

Research Methods

The basis of the TCM is that visitors will choose the annual number of trips to a recreation site based on the cost, both monetary and time, of traveling to the site. The number of trips will be inversely related to the travel cost (Loomis & Walsh, 1997). This idea is of great importance because with careful surveying of the travel costs and number of trips taken a demand curve can be estimated. Once the demand curve is estimated, calculating the net willingness to pay or consumer surplus simply entails adding up the areas below the demand curve and above the price for the various users of the site (Rosenthal, Loomis, & Peterson, 1984).

Several assumptions must hold for travel costs to be a proxy for price in the TCM (Freeman, 1993). The first of these is that the visitor is on a single-destination trip, meaning the travel costs were incurred to reach only the site in question. Mendelsohn, Hof, Peterson and Johnson (1992) have proposed a method for including multiple destination trips in the TCM, however it was for a zonal, linear application. For this paper, this assumption will be addressed through the survey design. Another assumption is that there is no net utility derived from the travel time. By adding a variable on travel time, this can be tested. If the coefficient on travel time is not positive, this assumption appears satisfied. While it is possible that the last part of travel, which was in the Moab area, does provide utility, overall it is felt this assumption will hold due to the long distance traveled (average was 525 miles for the entire sample). Another assumption that is sometimes alleged for the TCM requires consumers to respond to fees in a manner equivalent to travel costs; Bowes and Loomis (1980, p. 467) demonstrate this is not necessarily required. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Economic Benefits of Mountain Biking at One of Its Meccas: An Application of the Travel Cost Method to Mountain Biking in Moab, Utah
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.