Supporting Sustainable Livelihoods through Wildlife Tourism
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Tourism is an engine for jobs, exports, and investments. In 2016, travel and tourism generated $7.6 trillion (10.2% of global Gross Domestic Product) and an estimated 292 million jobs globally. The tourism sector is also the largest market-based contributor to finance protected areas such as national parks.
In some countries, tourism depends almost exclusively on natural systems, often with wildlife as the primary attraction. This nature-based tourism(NBT) is a powerful tool that countries can leverage to grow and bring jobs to local communities, generate government revenues and foreign exchange, and create new markets for entrepreneurs to sell their goods and services.
For NBT to flourish, wildlife and their natural habitats must be protected, as the presence of wildlife is an essential draw for tourists who visit parks and consume goods and services. In addition, the local people who coexist with wildlife and live around their natural habitats must benefit from NBT-related investments.
Successful NBT experiences are emerging from across the world, especially in Southern and Eastern Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. This report highlights Namibia’s successful model of NBT that promotes community conservation and has contributed an estimated N$5.98 billion (approximately US$488 million at 2018 exchange rates) to net national income and created 5,147 jobs from the beginning of 1990 to the end of 2016. It also presents other NBT experiences from Botswana, India, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, and Uganda. We hope countries across the globe can apply the lessons learned from these projects to promote investment in wellplanned, sustainably run NBT operations that improve the livelihoods of rural communities and protect nature.
This report is part of a broader effort by the World Bank Group, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and numerous conservation partners to explore innovative tourism partnerships to help countries open up smart investment in this sector and capitalize on their natural assets. The World Bank has experience implementing over 300 tourism-related projects across, more than 86 countries since the 1960s. We help our clients maximize their development resources and unlock the intrinsic value of their natural assets.
We support their efforts to access capital markets and attract private-sector partners who deploy innovative solutions and technologies that deliver results for people and wildlife. With the support from the GEF grant of US$131 million to the Global Wildlife Program (GWP), we are working with 19 countries across Africa and Asia and numerous development partners to promote wildlife conservation and sustainable development by combatting illicit trafficking in wildlife and investing in NBT.
Our staff stand ready to engage with committed partners to sustainably grow this sector while protecting both nature and livelihoods.
For more Information, please consult the following PDF Documents: