Estimating the Value of Travel Time to Recreational Sites Using Revealed Preferences
The opportunity Value of Travel Time (VTT) is one of the most important parts of the total cost of day-long recreational activities and arguably the most difficult to estimate. While numerous studies have criticized the use of salaries to proxy the relevant shadow values, a consensus on an alternative measure still has to emerge. This paper uses a revealed preference approach to estimate the VTT for recreational trips by modeling individuals' preferences for toll roads and deriving their willingness-to-pay to reduce travel time. Our case-study sites are three beaches located in the Italian Riviera Romagnola, whose road network is a mix of toll and free access roads. By carrying-out face-to-face interviews, we reconstruct respondents' routes, indentify their time-cost trade-offs and ultimately estimate their VTT. Results show considerable heterogeneity in values with the VTT for day-long recreational visits being significantly higher than the one of longer holidays.
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