The domestic tourists were segregated district-wise for TCM analysis. Average travel cost per visitor was calculated for each district based upon travel cost data revealed by the tourists. The zonal data model was developed using concentric circles of 100 Km. intervals from the site. The population figures for different districts was taken from the census data 2001 available with the Directorate of census operations, Ministry of Home affairs, Government of India office at Chandigarh. Travel cost per person for each zone was calculated as weighted average travel cost taking in to account the number of visits from different districts falling in that particular zone and average travel cost per person in each district. The analysis was conducted using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences .Regression was carried out on the zonal model with the visitation rate as the response variable and travel cost as explanatory variable as prescribed by US water resource council (1983). A plot of the fitted model of the “whole experience demand curve” was generated through regression. A conservative estimate of 0.30 millions domestic tourists per year or 822 numbers per day from a distance up to 1000 km. from Chandigarh was taken in the analysis. The “whole experience demand curve” was then used for estimating number of tourists at different hypothetical entrance fees and the resultant “net recreational demand curve” was plotted between number of visitors and travel cost with added entrance fee . The area under this curve (considering the present actual entrance fee of Rs. 10.00 only at Rock Garden) gives the consumer surplus of Rs. 2, 53,000.00 for the urban parks/gardens and landscape features of the Chandigarh city per day by the tourists. Dividing this figure by 822 i.e. average numbers of tourists per day, we get net benefits received by each individual from recreational experience as Rs. 308/- per individual visit. This is a measure of average willingness to pay for the recreational benefits provided by the urban parks and gardens of the city based on the results derived from the sample data. Annual recreational value of the urban parks/gardens of the Chandigarh, thus, comes out to be Rs. 2, 53, 000 x 365 = Rs. 308 x 0.30 millions = Rs. 92.40 millions
Discussion and Conclusion:
Rock Garden, Chandigarh was rated as number one tourist spot in the city by the domestic tourists. Nearly 70 % of the tourists (392/568) voted in favor of Nek Chand’s Rock Garden as number one tourist spot of the CITY BEAUTIFUL. Therefore this garden deserves an annual recreational value of Rs. 64.68 millions out of Rs. 92.40 millions from domestic tourists’ point of view based on 2002-03 price level. This is a conservative estimate of annual tourism recreational value of Rock Garden, Chandigarh because data from foreign tourists has not been considered in the analysis. The actual annual tourism value of this garden seems to be much higher, if foreigner’s data is also taken in to account. This also proves the fact that this tourist spot is a must on the itinerary of every visitor to Chandigarh and city’s administration should pay adequate attention in maintaining this particular site for the tourists. It is worth mentioning that the Rock Garden creation work done by Mr. Nek Chand at Chandigarh has been lauded in most of the European countries, USA and Australia. The first significant recognition of his work came from Paris. The highest distinction (Grand Medaille de Vermeil) that the Municipality of Paris can bestow on any one has been conferred on Mr. Nek Chand in 1980. As of now, there are six gardens on the like of Rock Garden abroad- two in France, two in Germany and two in Britain, all created under the able guidance & supervision of Mr. Nek Chand.
This article credited by,
Arid Forest Research Institute