New Economic Insights and Case Studies
1. An overview of nature-based tourism and conservation 1.1 INTRODUCTION Tourism is globally a major industry, and by some measures it is estimated to be the world’s largest industry. Furthermore, it is a growing industry. The demand for tourism tends to rise with per capita income and with increasing education as well as with rising levels of population, other things remaining constant. Globally, the level of the world’s population continues to grow, the number of people receiving more years of education is going up, and so too is the number of those who are wealthier (or receiving higher levels of real income) than in the past. Currently, these trends are strongly evident in parts of Asia (for example, China and India) and this has boosted the engagement of their residents in tourism in recent times (Wen and Tisdell, 2001; Yu and Gu, forthcoming). The reasons why individuals want to tour are extremely varied and usually alter with their life cycle (Collins and Tisdell, 2002). However, one of the important reasons for travel is to view natural wonders and experience or utilise different features of nature for enjoyment. Sometimes it is the main purpose for tourism but even when it is not, nature is often a significant contributor to the amount of enjoyment obtained from tourism. The nature, development and indicators of the importance of nature-based tourism and its growth are discussed in some detail in Chapter 2. However, even in the mid-1970s, Budowski (1976, p. 27) commented: ‘In recent years...
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