Recreation Use Value of Wondo Genet Wetland Forest Ecosystem to Domestic Visitors - South Ethiopia

Mohammed Ali Mohammed


The study was conducted to estimate the recreation use of value of Wondo Genet Wabeshebele resort which makes use of wetland forest ecosystem to provide its outdoor recreation services. The amenity of the site is being affected due to degradation and conversion of the natural ecosystem into other land uses. Although many domestic visitors and foreign tourists benefited from the recreation services of the site for a long time, this non-market recreation benefits rarely considered in land use decision in the area.  An individual travel cost model was employed in this study to value the recreation benefits of the nature based site to domestic recreation users. Recreation service at the study site provided a consumer surplus per trip of 456 Birr (US$ 24) and 892 Birr (US$ 47) for day visitors and overnight visitors respectively. The aggregate recreation value of the site was estimated at 103.5 million Birr (US$ 5.54 million) in year 2013. The wetland forest ecosystem generated a recreation benefit flow of 1.9 million Birr (US$ 100,662) per hectare per year, considering only its service to domestic recreation users alone. The annual recreation benefit flow obtained from Wondo Genet wetland forest ecosystem could make the site to be among the terrestrial ecosystems that generates the highest benefit flow to society in comparison to value estimates made for similar ecosystems. It is important to consider this non-market recreation benefit of the wetland forest in future land use decisions in the landscape.

Keywords: Wondo Genet resort, wetland forest, travel cost, valuation, recreation benefits, hot spring, non-market ecosystem service 

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