This is a study on demand for outdoor recreation in a national system of environmentally protected areas. The exercise is based on a nation-wide survey carried out in 1996 from a stratified random sample of 5,574 Italian households. Data on socio-economic characteristics and recreational choice behavior of respondents was collected and this information was supplemented by a second data-base containing information on 193 Italian EPAs in order to characterize the different outdoor destinations on the basis of their recreational attributes. These data sets are used here to model choices of outdoor recreation within environmentally protected areas, using a sequence of three different models: (i) a dichotomous choice logit model for the probability of participation conditional on household covariates; (ii) a count data Poisson model to estimate the household's expected number of trips per year; (iii) a conditional logit model to estimate the probability of site selection conditional on site attributes. We report the estimated per-trip welfare changes derivable from an actual policy proposal which would extend the area under environmental protection by ten percent.
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