عنوان مقاله [English]
the Recreational Value of Gahar Lake Using Zonal Travel Cost Method
Natural resorts are not only intrinsically valuable as part of nature, but also for the recreational economic value. It is important for policymakers in every country to know the recreational economic value of society's natural recreational habitats. Including the attention and priority of budget allocation to those natural resorts. Gahar Lake is a mountainous lake located in the middle of the mountainous mountain range of Lorestan province with an altitude of 2350 meters above sea level and is about 1700 meters long and 400 to 800 meters wide and 4 to 28 meters deep. The lake is located in the protected area of Oshtrankooh, Dorud city, which is known as Negin Oshtrankooh, and due to the lack of roads, it is a pristine area and has largely survived the human bite. About 70,000 tourists visit the area every year. The main route of the lake starts from Dorud city and after a distance of about 18 km, it reaches the asphalted end of the road. From this point, it takes about five hours to reach Gahar Lake.
This study has estimated the recreational economic value of Gahar Lake, one of the natural recreation areas of Lorestan province and one of the tourist attractions of Iran, with Zonal travel cost approach. This study intended to estimate travel cost function of this lake to assign the importance of paying attention to this matter. For this purpose, using travel cost method, the demand function and then recreational value of Gahar Lake was estimated.
The underlying assumption of Travel Cost Method is that the value of a recreational place is proportionate to the costs incurred by respondents to visit that place. Estimating recreational economic value of natural resorts with a Zonal travel cost approach is based on the map of that natural promenade and the views and characteristics of the visitors of that natural promenade and the cost and distance of access to that natural promenade This method is based more on real data than on hypothetical data and is therefore able to provide real values. Travel cost method is based on the simple premise that the entertainment value of a location is directly associated with that travel costs incurred by a person for departure to that place. In the individual travel cost method, the dependent variable is the number of trips each visitor has made to a particular natural resort in the past year or the past season. However, in the Zonal travel cost method, the dependent variable determines the number of population trips of each region or specific area to that natural resort. Individual travel cost method is suitable for estimating the recreational economic value of natural recreation centers that are frequently visited by local people, and the regional recreational cost method is suitable for estimating the recreational economic value of natural recreation centers that most people are around where They visit (Fleming et al, 2008: 1199). In this study, due to the fact that the visitors of Gahar Lake are from different parts of the country and they only travel to this place for recreation, the regional economic cost method of Gahar Lake has been used to determine the recreational economic value. The research data with the statistical sample of 161 visitors of this natural promenade was collected in the summer of 2019
Considering the importance of the valuation of promenades, this study has estimated the recreational value of Gahar Lake and the function of demand for travel to the lake using Zonal Travel Cost Method. The number of visitors was considered as a function of visitor's income, education, age and so travel costs and travel distance. The Log- Lin Model was chosen among the different functional forms. The results show that the relationship between the number of visitors from the rural areas to Lake Gahar with the distance and cost of travel has been negative and significant, and with the level of education of visitors, has been positive and significant as the level Visiting education has played an important role in attracting tourists to this natural resort.Using the data at average level, the demand for travel for Gahar Lake was estimated as: Ln y=3.63 - 0.000133TC
Where lny natural logarithm is the number of visitors to Lake Gahar and tc the cost of travel to Lake Gahar.
The results showed that the relationship between the number of visitors from the ten regions and the distance and cost of travel was negative and significant. The results of this study also showed that the level of education has played an important role in attracting tourists to this natural lake. The recreational economic value of Gahar Lake was estimated at 283550 Rials for each visitor in the summer of 1398 and 19 billion and 848 million Rials for the total number of visitors. It is comparable to similar research in other areas of Iran's natural resorts that have used the regional travel cost method. It shows the economic and recreational economic value of Gahar Lake among the natural recreation areas of Iran and the need for more attention of policy makers and more budget allocation to it and the development of a comprehensive tourism plan for this natural lake.
-Supporting the private sector to invest in tourism industry and creating services to facilitate accessing to Gahar Lake,
- Establishing information centers to familiarize the high-educated and high-income people with the attractions and recreational values of Gahar Lake, and making it possible for low income people to travel to this place.
-Due to lake of access roads, women rarely go to this place. Therefore it is necessary to facilitate women's access to Gahar Lake
- Results show that recreational value of this lake is at least 19.8 billion Rials for visitors. Then any investment about 19.8 billion Rials is economically feasible.