Valuing Ecological Restoration and Recreational Benefits in a Mountain Protected Area: The Case of Los Nevados National Park, Colombia

Sergio Alvarez, Sherry L. Larkin


This study uses travel cost and contingent valuation methods to derive estimates of economic value for recreational use of Los Nevados National Park in the Andean region of Colombia. Park visitors were surveyed regarding their travel costs and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for ecological restoration of areas affected by wildfires in 2006. The travel cost data was analyzed using a zonal travel cost model. The contingent valuation experiment used a dichotomous choice format followed by an open-ended question asking for their maximum WTP for restoration. Consumer surplus for recreational use of the park was found to be large relative to the budget of the Colombian Parks Service, which justifies continued funding. Respondents’ WTP for ecological restoration was modest and possibly influenced by bequest values, but unaffected by potential information bias.

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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