Grilli, G.*, Paletto, A. and De Meo, I. 2014. Economic Valuation of Forest Recreation in an Alpine Valley. Baltic Forestry 20(1): 167-175.

Recreation in forests is a very important service provided by the environment that allows to generating considerable incomes for the local population. To make appropriate management strategies, recreational values of the forests have to be considered in order to lose the landscape and the other factors of tourists’ attraction. Forest recreational values - due to the lack of a market - can be estimated through environmental evaluation techniques such as Contingent Valuation (CV), Choice Experiment (CE) or Travel Cost Method (TCM). The first part of the paper offers a meta-analysis of the recreational values of mountain forests in Europe in order to compare the values of similar sites for altitude (above and below 1,000 m a.s.l.), tree species composition (mixed and pure conifer/broadleaved forests) and tourists target. In the second part of the paper, a Benefit Transfer (BT) application is presented by applying the results of the meta-analysis (average value transfer). The “policy” site chosen is an Alpine valley located in the north-east of Italy (Valle di Non, Province of Trento). The results of meta-analysis highlight that the recreation value of the mixed forests is higher than that of pure forests (conifer or broadleaved forests), while the applied economic techniques (CV or TCM) has low influence on the recreational value per visit. Finally, the results of the application show that the total recreational value of the Valle di Non forests is around 2,5 million € per year and it has a considerable weight in the Total Economic Value (TEV) of the valley’s forests.

Key words: mountain forests, tourism and recreation, economic evaluation, Benefit Transfer method.