A travel cost evaluation of the benefits of two destination salmon rivers in Ireland
Fishing for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is a popular recreational activity in several northern hemisphere countries. This paper extends the empirical literature using the travel cost method to estimate the demand function for two of Ireland's premier salmon fisheries: the rivers Moy and Corrib. Data were collected by an on-site questionnaire and demand was estimated using count data models. Several findings have relevance to other premier destination Atlantic salmon fisheries. While international visiting anglers are often prized over domestic anglers, this research indicates no difference between domestic and overseas anglers in terms of their angling demand. Second, an estimated price elasticity of demand of −1.04 indicates that anglers at these premier fisheries are quite cost sensitive, which is counter to previous estimates. Whether this result is more generally applicable at other premier salmon angling sites requires further research but it highlights the difficult balance fishery managers face when increasing permit prices. Finally, beyond the impact of higher travel costs on demand, domestic but not overseas anglers’ demand declines as distance to the fishing sites increases.