This includes viewing and experiencing animals in their natural habitat, which accounts for 4,4 percent of all direct tourism GDP last year and directly provided 9,1 million jobs worldwide.
Released on World Elephant Day, the research shows that the total economic contribution of wildlife tourism totals USD343,6 billion an equivalent to the entire economy of Hong Kong.
Asia-Pacific forms the largest regional market worth USD53,3 billion in direct GDP and responsible for 4,5 million jobs. In second place is Africa, where 3,6 million people are employed through wildlife tourism, which was worth USD29.3 billion in 2018.
Wildlife tourism is a rich segment of the industry, showing how our precious species can legitimately enrich tourism businesses without being harmed.
In fact, the wildlife tourism market is so strong worth five times more than the illegal trade that it provides a strong incentive for communities to protect and display animals to the world rather than killing them for a one-off cash bonus.