Estimating Recreation Value and Factors Affecting Willingness-to-Pay of Visitors to Badab-e Surt GeoPark, Summer Rangelands of North of Iran
Rangelands supply many benefits to society as forage and non-forage goods and services. While some of these can be valued in monetary terms, but it is not possible for some products and services such as recreational use of rangelands. So, the present study was conducted for the purpose of the recreational value of Mazandaran Badab-e Surt GeoPark summer rangelands using the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) based on the maximum likelihood logit regression model. Data were collected from 311 sample visitors randomly by face-to-face interview and Double-Bounded Dichotomous Choice (DB-DC) questionnaire in 2016- 2017. The results showed that majority of the visitors (96.34%) were Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) for ecotourism in the region. The average WTP for an entrance fee was found to be about $0.4 per visitor, and $2.17 for each family. The total annual recreation value of the region estimated at $39.84 per hectare. Logit regression model indicated that the involved variables, bid, income, number of family members, education, and regional quality were significant. However, based on research findings, the economic value of the recreational function of Badab-e Surt is very low, but other benefits such as environmental culture, job creation for the local community, alternative livelihoods and increased economic prosperity in the region will also be available using a nature tour in addition to the calculated amounts.