Wildlife, birdwatching tourism worth billions every year

This video is called Bird Watching in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

From Wildlife Extra:

Wildlife and bird tourism worth billions every year

Bird watching can help eco-tourism fly high in a green economy

May 2012. Migratory birds undertake some of the most daring journeys in the animal kingdom, often covering thousands of kilometres to migrate. And the growing fan base of these winged adventurers is now presenting economic opportunities through sustainable tourism.

There is a growing trend among bird tour operators to practice sustainable and socially responsible ecotourism, while relying on local goods and services or supporting local conservation projects. Indeed, the UNEP Green Economy Report shows that global spending on all areas of ecotourism is increasing by about six times the industry-wide rate of growth.

Bird watching worth US$ 32 billion per year in the United States

A survey by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service puts the annual economic value generated by bird watchers (or ‘birders’) and other wildlife watchers at around US$ 32 billion per year in the United States alone. This amount corresponds to the GDP of Costa Rica, which, coincidently, is a popular destination for US birders.

Wildlife tourism represents 4% of Scottish tourism

In Scotland, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) found out in 2011 that between GBP 5 – 8 million (US$ 8 – 12 million) is spent annually by tourists wishing to see White-tailed Eagles on the Isle of Mull alone. The equivalent of at least 110 full-time jobs – 4 per cent of jobs in Scotland associated with wildlife tourism – is supported by this expenditure every year. Economic benefits delivered by White-tailed Eagles on the Isle of Mull have more than tripled since 2005.

More details about the Mull sea eagle hide here.

“Birding plays a significant and growing part in the tourism industry, and creates direct and indirect economic benefits for many countries and communities, also amongst developing countries. Wildlife watching appeals to a wide range of people, and opportunities to participate in wildlife watching are and should increasingly be a factor in tourists’ holiday choices today”, said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

In a struggling economy, many mills and factories are forced to close, but that’s not the case for Armstrong Milling in Ontario. According to TheSpec.com, the mill has doubled its workforce in the past decade and sees only growth ahead, thanks to the booming bird feeding business. Initial studies have shown that as baby boomers seek more relaxed recreational pastimes, many of them are turning to feeding the birds, which is good for business. Furthermore, people of all ages can feed the birds, so the market is seeing steady growth at odds with the fluctuating economy: here.

9 thoughts on “Wildlife, birdwatching tourism worth billions every year

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