Understanding the recreational value of natural resources is crucial to effective conservation programmes. When natural resources are threatened with dire consequences by human activities, their recreational value is greatly reduced, thus affecting their contribution to conservation programmes. The purpose of this research is to explore the recreational value of the coral-surrounded Hon Mun Islands. The islands contain the richest coral biodiversity in the country and are only about six km from a port, which has been earmarked for expansion. This research employs the travel cost method and the contingent valuation method to measure and analyse impacts on the recreational value of the islands. The zonal travel cost model (ZTCM) estimates the annual recreational value at approximately USD 17.9 million while the result from the individual travel cost model (ITCM) is about USD 8.7 million. A 20% loss of the recreational value that is expected to ensue from the proposed port expansion is still larger than the expanded port’s projected annual revenue of USD 3.1 million. Therefore, the port expansion proposal seriously needs reevaluation.
Analysis of The Recreational Value of The Coral-Surrounded Hon Mun Islands In Vietnam