Using revealed and stated preference data to estimate the scope and access benefits associated with cave diving
In a single-site travel cost model framework, revealed and stated preference data are jointly estimated to provide the first use-value estimate associated with recreational cave diving. Focusing on one of Florida's first magnitude springs, we estimate average per-person per-trip use values of approximately $155, generating annual cave diving use values in the region of $1075. Further, in an investigation of potential site quality changes, we find that divers are sensitive to scope effects with an additional cave system increasing annual per-person use values by approximately $100, while improved access yields an additional $50 in per-person annual consumer surplus. Finally, three additional model specifications are estimated and indicate that divers use different travel cost preferences when assessing their revealed and stated preference trip counts but a single preference structure to evaluate site quality changes.
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