Biodiversity and Tourism: A valuable relationship by ProQuest


In 2008, international visitor arrivals reached 880 million with associated expenditure of US$946 billion. In terms of the value to tourism from biodiversity, there have been a number of studies that have attempted to demonstrate the value of the natural environment in areas where successful iconic wildlife tours operate. In Iceland the whale watching industry is growing rapidly with an estimated annual value of $US4.5m - $US6m which is considered to be worth more than commercial whaling was at its peak, in Queensland, Australia, whale watching in Hervey Bay has been estimated as contributing between $AUS6.4m and $AUS11.4m to the regional economy. Further, nature-based tourism across southern Africa reportedly now generates roughly the same revenue as farming, forestry, and fisheries combined. In terms of the value of tourism for biodiversity the argument is generally positioned in two key ways: first, as a generator of economic means to address conservation issues, and second, as a vehicle to educate visitors about human impacts on biodiversity and wildlife habitat leading to an increased awareness and behaviour change. A discussion of values aims to highlight the notion that value is accrued in a number of forms to a variety of stakeholders and the article argues that a mutual understanding by managers of both biodiversity and tourism will result in adding value to both in a shared and symbiotic manner. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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