Travel Cost Analysis of a Cultural Heritage Site: The Case of Historic St. Mary's City of Maryland
Historic St. Mary's City located in rural southern Maryland, marks the 17th century British Colonial capital of the State of Maryland. As with most cultural heritage sites, Historic St. Mary's City can be classified as possessing public goods-type characteristics, and as such, welfare benefit estimates must utilize non-market valuation techniques. To date, the primary valuation methodology used for cultural heritage sites research involves stated preference methods. This study is one of the first to employ a revealed preference methodology, the zonal travel cost model, to estimate the consumer surplus welfare measures of a cultural heritage site. We analyze three years of visitor sample data to compare three functional forms of visitor demand. The average of the annual individual consumer surplus measures ranged from approximately $8.00 to $19.26, depending on the functional forms used. When aggregated to the total number of individual paid visitors, the average annual benefit estimates range from approximately $75,492 to $176,550. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004
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