Year of Publication

2008

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Angelos Pagoulatos

Abstract

The purpose of this travel cost study is to determine how rider behaviors and site characteristics influence repeat visits for equestrian trail riding in Kentucky. Primary data was collected via a survey developed and administered to trail riders in person and online. The average surveyed trail rider tends to be female, about 46 years old, with some higher education, and an annual household income of $65,000. She makes 11 trips to a specified site per year, 8 of which are daytrips, usually in the fall, and traveling 132 miles round trip. From other information gathered, an index of trail characteristics was developed to identify positive attributes of trails. To account for overdispersion of the number of visits per year, a negative binomial distribution in the estimation was used. The primary variables significant to explaining repeat visits to a site include distance in miles, the index of characteristics, and gender. Given consumer surplus estimates of $800 per equestrian it is recommended that established trails maximize desired characteristics. For new trail development it is recommended that trail characteristics are maximized and that they are built closer to the urban areas of the state since most riders are coming from these areas.

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