Recreational Travel: Gasoline Shortages and Price Increases

by Edward C. Sullivan, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Research Engr.; Inst. of Transportation Studies, Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,
Kevin C. Picha, Transportation Engr.; JHK Assoc., Emeryville, Calif.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 2, Pg. 207-216

Document Type: Journal Paper


An empirical study utilizes visitation data from a number of recreational attractions in California to estimate the reduction of travel due to the gasoline price increases that occurred during 1977-79 and the gas shortages that occurred in 1979. Differences in the price elasticities and the impacts of the gas shortage are determined by comparing private and public recreation sites, located in both urban and rural areas. It is shown that local zoos suffer the greatest long term visitation reduction due to increased gas prices, and that recreation attractions that draw from the national tourism market are least affected by gas prices. However, national attractions are the most affected by a gas shortage. It is recommended that public officials should consider mass transit for providing mobility to low cost local recreation areas and plan for possible mitigation of adverse local economic consequences if major recreational attractions are affected by future fuel shortages.

Subject Headings: Public transportation | Recreation | Gasoline | Pricing | Case studies | Elastic analysis | Private sector | Public private partnership | California | United States

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