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Ecotourism in protected areas of Nepal: An application of individual travel cost method

Author Affiliations

  • 1Kathmandu Forestry College, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 2Promoting Agriculture Health and Alternative Livelihood (PAHAL), Rukum, Nepal
  • 3Integrative Conservation of Nature and Forestry (ICON PhD),Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia ,Athens, USA

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 5, Issue (1), Pages 1-6, January,8 (2017)

Abstract

Protected areas are natural ecosystem that offers economic and environmental benefits to the associated communities. They have played a significant role in driving tourism industry in Nepal. Chitwan National Park (CNP) established in 1973 AD is one of the oldest PAs of Nepal which is famous for the community based ecotourism practices. Kumroj municipality at buffer zone of CNP established in 1998, provides four major ecotourism services inside its community forest i.e Elephant safari, Jungle walk, Tower night and Boating in collaboration of Janakauli and Kumroj municipalities and outside forest the municipality provides services like homestay, cultural show, museum, etc to promote ecotourism. But nothing has been done yet to assess its value to recreationist. This study seeks to address this gap by adopting Individual Travel Cost Method (ITCM) as well as appraise the factors influencing visitation of the site through survey of 43 visitors during the field period of November to December of 2015. The study revealed the annual value of the site per person as 105.127 US$ (NRs. 11,166.169) from which an annual aggregate value was derived to be 1,656,801.52 US$ (NRs. 175,978,823.44) in 2015. Age, gender, distance, time, education and travel cost were the factors affecting the number of trip of visitor to the site.

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