Author(s): Nam PK, Son TVH
Understanding the recreational value of natural resources is fundamental to effective conservation programs. When natural resources are damaged by human activities, their recreational value is greatly reduced along with their potential contribution to conservation programs. The purpose of this research is to explore the recreational value of the coral surrounding the Hon Mun Islands. The islands contain the richest coral biodiversity in Vietnam, but are only about 6 km from a port that has been earmarked for expansion. This research employs the travel cost method and the contingent valuation method to measure and analyze impacts on the recreational value of the islands. The zonal travel cost model (ZTCM) estimates the annual recreational value of the islands at approximately US$17.9 million, while the individual travel cost model estimates this value at about US$8.7 million. A 20 per cent loss of the (ZTCM) recreational value that could be expected to result from the proposed port expansion is still larger than the expanded port’s projected annual revenue of US$3.1 million. Therefore, the port expansion proposal needs to be reconsidered.