Did the Great Recession Reduce Visitor Spending and Willingness to Pay for Nature‐Based Recreation? Evidence from 2006 and 2009

9 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2012

See all articles by Catherine Keske

Catherine Keske

Colorado State University, Fort Collins

John B. Loomis

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics

Date Written: April 2012

Abstract

Outdoor recreation is a large industry that can diversify public land‐based economies that have traditionally relied upon resource extraction. However, what happens to nature‐based recreation visitor spending and benefits during times of national economic recession? To address this question, we replicate a 2006 high mountain recreation study in the same region 3 years later during the 2009 recession. Results indicate that nature‐based public land recreation in this area did not experience reductions in most categories of visitor spending or total number of visits during the recession. These results imply that nature‐based recreation may represent an economically stable industry in public land mountain economies. Total benefits to the visitors are also quite stable, only dropping from $129 per person per trip in 2006 to $120 in 2009. This 7% drop in willingness to pay is not statistically significant at conventional levels.

JEL Classification: Q26

Suggested Citation

Keske, Catherine and Loomis, John B., Did the Great Recession Reduce Visitor Spending and Willingness to Pay for Nature‐Based Recreation? Evidence from 2006 and 2009 (April 2012). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 30, Issue 2, pp. 238-246, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2042362 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7287.2011.00277.x

Catherine Keske

Colorado State University, Fort Collins ( email )

Fort Collins, CO 80523-1771
United States

John B. Loomis

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics ( email )

B310 Andrew G. Clark
Fort Collins, CO 80523
United States
970-491-2485 (Phone)

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