Conservation and Economic Benefits of Wildlife-based Marine Tourism: Sea Turtles and Whales as Case Studies
Tourism development can have positive and/or negative impacts on wildlife. However, if tourism is developed in accordance with the basic tenets of wildlife tourism such an activity can be sustainable and can aid the conservation of species. Based on two case studies in Queensland, Australia, this article outlines the various economic and conservation benefits arising from wildlife-based tourism. Some of the benefits are direct, such as tangible economic benefits, others are less tangible, such as increased visitors’ willingness to pay in principle for the conservation of species. Wildlife-based tourism is shown to foster political support for the conservation of species utilized for such tourism by various mechanisms. Non-consumptive uses of wildlife are not only sustainable, but may provide a viable alternative to consumptive uses.
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