Evaluation of the Recreational Uses of Rural Land: A Case Study

  • Guido Maria Bazzani
  • Davide Viaggi
  • Giacomo Zanni


The recreational use of agricultural land is emerging as one of the main opportunities for income production and rural development in many rural areas of the world. Many agri-environmental measures are directly aimed at improving the recreational value of rural land through the provision of direct services or landscape improvement.

The aim of this study is to assess the value for the consumers of such recreational improvements. In particular, an assessment was carried out in an area of Bologna Hills in order to evaluate the willingness to pay (WTP) for the provision of a set of given recreational services. The collection of information was achieved through a questionnaire addressed to households living in the Province of Bologna. The information collected includes recreational behaviour of the households, as well as the WTP for the services proposed. Results are discussed in relation to actual policy implementation, comparing recreational benefits with the public expenditure necessary to produce such benefits.

The results show that the provision of recreational goods in the countryside is valued by households as a relevant good, the quality of which significantly affects their behaviour in relation to the use of the countryside. Nevertheless, the WTP is probably not sufficient to fully cover the public expenditure necessary to carry out the proposed intervention. Fine tuning is thus necessary to target intervention, to improve policy efficiency and to create mechanisms for direct payment the services provided.


Contingent Valuation Compliance Cost Direct Payment Rural Land Recreational Service 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guido Maria Bazzani
    • 1
  • Davide Viaggi
    • 2
  • Giacomo Zanni
    • 3
  1. 1.CNR Land and Agri-System Management Research Centre (Ge-STA)BolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Economics and EngineeringUniversity of BolognaItaly
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of FoggiaItaly

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