Valuing User Preferences for Improvements in Public Nature Trails Around the Sundays River Estuary, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Many valuations have been made of changes to in-estuary attributes but few have been made of out-of-estuary attributes. From a recreation perspective, an important type of out-of-estuary attribute is the availability of public paths by which to access attractive features of the estuary environment. This paper values an improvement in the level of public access in the form of an additional nature trail along the banks of the Sundays River Estuary in the Eastern Cape, but does not compare this value with the costs. By means of choice experiment modelling analyses it is estimated that in 2010 the marginal willingness-to-pay for an investment in a nature trail was R34 per user per annum. In order to determine whether the development of this trail is efficient, this benefit (R34 per user per annum) needs to be compared to the cost of the development, an analysis that remains to be done. However, this find does serve to provide guidance on how much funding could efficiently be allocated to such a development - about R1.22 million, assuming a social discount rate of 8.38%.
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