Estimating Recreational Benefits of the Glacier-Based Highland Ecosystem

A Case Study of Mt. Yulong, China

  • Zhuoran Zhang
  • Udomsak Seenprachawong
Keywords: Highland Ecoysytem, Glaciers, Economic Valuation, Travel Cost Method, Consumer Surplus


This paper examines the tourism demand and assesses the consumer surplus of visiting a unique tourist attraction site: glaciers in Mt. Yulong, Yunnan, China by using the zonal travel cost method (henceforth, TCM). We aim to uncover the use value of this particular site in tourism development. We divide domestic travelers into 20 groups based on the demographical and geographical characteristics of their place of residence. The empirical results show that the economic value of the glaciers in the tourism industry is more than three billion Chinese Yuan, roughly equivalent to 500 million dollars, which is approximately ten percent of the local GDP. The high estimated value of the glaciers suggests that some conservation policy interventions are necessary.