Recreational value and optimal pricing of national parks: lessons from Maasai Mara in Kenya

Peer Reviewed
1 January 2018

This paper estimates the recreational value and optimal pricing for recreation services in the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya. To achieve this objective, data from 323 Park visitors were collected. Single-site individual travel cost method (ITCM) using count data models [zero truncated Poisson (ZTP), zero truncated negative binomial (ZTNB), negative binomial with endogenous stratification (NBSTRAT), and Poisson with endogenous stratification (PSTRAT)] was applied. Results show a consumer surplus of US$ 115 per visitor per day, which translates to a Park recreational value of is US$ 73.076 million per year. The optimal conservation fee that would maximize revenue for the Park was estimated at US$ 86.90 per day, a value which is less than the consumer surplus. To maximize revenue, the Park managers can therefore hike the price to capture some consumer surplus or invest in substitute facilities to increase expenditure at the site (onsite costs). It's also important to note that the value estimated in this study is for recreation only. There are other ecosystem services (provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting) which are produced in the Park. These should also be captured and paid for, so as to avail more funds for conservation and production of more ecosystem services.

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Publication reference
Richard Mulwa, Jane Kabubo-Mariara & Wilfred Nyangena (2018) Recreational value and optimal pricing of national parks: lessons from Maasai Mara in Kenya, Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, 7:2, 204-222, DOI: 10.1080/21606544.2017.1391716

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Publication | 13 November 2018