Heritage tourism can increase incomes and stimulate the economy in former mining areas. Recreational tourism is one of the main sources of value of heritage. People from urban areas are willing to pay for access to these tourism options. The measurement of the economic impact of this availability is one of the main problems to confront, due to the immeasurable possibilities of heritage resources. The use of non-market values and their estimation by means of revealed preference methods should help to assess the economic value of this sort of resources from a recreational perspective. The travel cost method (TCM) is widely used to value areas with recreational uses, such as lakes, beaches or forests, but there are not references to previous applications of this methodology in the field of mining heritage. In this work, TCM has been applied to obtain the economic value of El Soplao Cave (Geosite UR004, Cantabria, Spain) as a recreational site, providing an estimated result of 34,961,162 euros.
Recommended citation: Pérez-Álvarez, R.; Torres-Ortega, S.; Díaz-Simal, P.; Husillos-Rodríguez, R.; De Luis-Ruiz, J.M. Economic Valuation of Mining Heritage from a Recreational Approach: Application to the Case of El Soplao Cave in Spain (Geosite UR004). Sustainability 2016, 8, 185.