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Abstract

This paper estimated the expected on-day site demand for recreation, the elasticity with respect to the recreation cost, income and welfare benefit tourists derive from recreation at the Obudu Cattle Ranch (OCR). On-site individual observation Travel Cost Method (TCM), count data distribution, price and income elasticities of on-day site demand for recreation were the analytical tools adopted. In addition the Marshalian consumer surplus was used in estimating the welfare benefit the tourists derived from recreation in the ranch. The on-day site demand for recreation in the ranch was 3 days. The price elasticity of 18.44 implied the demand was elastic while income elasticity was 3.02. The recreation use benefit for a representative visitor for each day of visit was N380.00 which was N1,140 for a three days visit and N196,080 for the 172 sampled visitors Computing this for the 516 recreation days per year for the sample tourists, it was N101,177,280. These implied recreation in OCR is a luxurious environmental commodity that can only benefit the elites and the affluent despite the great hidden economic value it holds to the society. Therefore, there is need for government to intervene through a subsidy regime and enhanced advertisement to attract indigenous and foreign tourists to the ranch.

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