National parks attract tourists to developing countries. However, there are only rare cases where the full economic rent from tourism in protected areas has been captured by these countries. This severely limits the capacity of developing countries to sustain these protected areas. The present study investigates the efficiency of the current pricing policies of Kakum National Park in Ghana.
The contingent valuation (CV) method was used to compute the entrance fees that maximize financial revenues from visitors to Kakum National Park. The CV survey covered a random sample of 200 visitors. Results indicate that to maximize financial revenues, the park management should increase entrance fees from US$3 to US$9 for domestic tourists and from US$10 to US$37 for foreign tourists; which are increments of about 200% and 250%, respectively. These results show that CV can produce theoretically valid input into environmental and ecotourism policy formulation in developing countries, and further applications should be encouraged in order to adapt the method better to developing countries.
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