Simultaneous estimation of a site's recreational and agricultural values can rarely be found in the literature. This study aims to estimate the recreational value of a mountain area where pomegranate trees add value to the authentic appeal of the region. The study contributes to the literature by quantifying the impact of heterogeneous agricultural intensities on the total recreational value of cultivated pomegranate fields thoroughly and simultaneously in a seldom-studied region. The travel cost method is employed to investigate the impact of different on-site densities of pomegranate trees in Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar, Oman on recreational demand. An offsite questionnaire survey was administered to 175 randomly selected respondents. The negative binomial estimation results report that the obtained consumer surplus of a trip is about five times higher than the average travel cost. Findings also reveal that on-site pomegranate density positively influences the demand for recreation and the resultant consumer surplus. Recreationists considerably less value visiting a partially covered site by pomegranate trees. We recommend policymakers consider the positive externalities of pomegranate farming when making policy decisions supporting farmers in the region. Management implications: Pomegranate fields provide significant recreational value beyond their actual agricultural market valuation. The estimated consumer surplus per person per visit from visiting these fields is $2,120, five times the travel cost which is five times the cost of travel. Policymakers should consider the positive externalities of pomegranate farming when making policy decisions to support farmers and recreationists in the region. To preserve the value of pomegranate trees, negative externalities such as plant diseases and climate change should be considered and proactively managed. Facilitating a regional agricultural festival during harvest season could be a future consideration to capitalize on agriculture's positive contribution to tourism.
- Consumer surplus
- Recreational value
- Travel cost method
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management