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Abstract

The economic value of biological collections in three major botanic gardens in Australia was estimated using the Travel-Cost (TC) and Contingent Valuation (CV) methods. The study used truncated count data models to control for the non-negative integer and truncation properties of the number of visits to botanic gardens in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. We estimate consumer surplus values of approximately $34 per trip to each botanic garden, resulting in the total social welfare estimate of approximately $96.9 million in 2010 Australian dollars. This result is relatively high compared to similar studies conducted in other countries. Willingness to pay (WTP) for entry fees and or higher parking charges for access to botanic gardens were also investigated. Results indicate a positive mean WTP of approximately $3-$4 per trip per person. These findings will be useful for resource management decisions in the botanic gardens and other biological collections in Australia.

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