Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 394

Full Length Research Paper

Economic valuation of tourism of the Sundarban Mangroves, Bangladesh

Mohammad Nur Nobi
  • Mohammad Nur Nobi
  • Department of Economics, University of Chittagong, Chittagong - 4331, Bangladesh.
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A. H. M. Raihan Sarker
  • A. H. M. Raihan Sarker
  • Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, University of Chittagong, Chittagong- 4331, Bangladesh.
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Biswajit Nath
  • Biswajit Nath
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Chittagong, Chittagong- 4331, Bangladesh.
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Eivin Røskaft
  • Eivin Røskaft
  • Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, Trondheim #7491, Norway.
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Ma Suza
  • Ma Suza
  • Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University, PO Box 8130, 6700E Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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Paul Kvinta
  • Paul Kvinta
  • 573 Cameron Street SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30312, United States.
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  •  Received: 05 August 2021
  •  Accepted: 20 September 2021
  •  Published: 30 September 2021

Abstract

The Sundarban Reserve Forest (SRF) of Bangladesh provides tourism services to local and international visitors. Indeed, tourism is one of the major ecosystem services that this biodiversity-rich mangrove forest provides. Through a convenient sampling technique, 421 tourist respondents were interviewed to assess their willingness to pay for the tourism services of the Sundarban, using the Zonal Travel Cost Method (ZTCM). The estimated annual economic contribution of tourism in the Sundarban mangroves to the Bangladesh economy is USD 53 million. The findings of this study showed that facilities for watching wildlife and walking inside the forest can increase the number of tourists in the SRF. The findings also show that the availability of information like forest maps, wildlife precautionary signs, and danger zones would increase the number of tourists as well. Thus, the government of Bangladesh should consider increasing visitor entry fees to fund improvements and to enhance the ecotourism potential of the Sundarban mangroves.

 

Key words: Bangladesh, economic valuation, mangrove, Sundarban, tourism service.