Recreational Pursuits on Marginal Farm Land: A Discrete-Choice Model of Irish Farm Commonage Recreation
In the last decade the demand for rural recreation has increased in Ireland as the population has become increasingly urbanised. Increased affluence, mobility and changing values have also brought new demands with respect to landscape, conservation, heritage and recreation, with a greater emphasis on consumption demands for goods and services in rural areas. This paper’s contribution to the understanding of outdoor recreational pursuits in Ireland is based on the estimation of the first farmland recreation demand function. We use this empirical work to investigate the more general conflict between countryside recreational pursuits and farming activity. Through the estimation of a travel cost model, the study derives the mean willingness to pay of the average outdoors enthusiast using a farm commonage site in Co. Galway, Ireland and an estimate of the gross economic value of the site as a recreational resource. The result indicates the high value of Irish farmland from a recreational amenity perspective.
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