Travel cost analysis of an urban protected area and parks in Singapore: a mobile phone data application.
Big data have the potential to improve nonmarket valuation, but their application has been scarce. To test this potential, we apply mobile phone data to the zonal travel cost method and measure recreational ecosystem services from Bukit Timah (representing an urban protected area) and Jurong Lake Gardens (an urban recreational park) in Singapore. The study results show that the annual recreational benefits of the recreational park (S$54,698,761 to S$66,805,454) outweighed the benefits of the protected area (S$6,947,974 to S$9,068,027). The count data structure reduced the flexibility of the mobile phone data application. Compared to survey data, however, mobile phone data could prevent random errors and visitor memory biases; monitor impacts of site quality changes over time; count visitors from multiple entrances; and be cost-efficient. Overall, these results highlight the potential of mobile phone data application to improve travel cost analysis.
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