NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya is among countries with the potential to
earn more from wildlife-based tourism through enhanced
investment, the World Bank said on Monday.
In a report released
in Nairobi, the World Bank said nature-based tourism is on the
rise and could help provide solutions to challenges like
poaching, loss of habitat, and low funding for protection of
“Wildlife tourism is
a powerful tool that countries can leverage to grow and
diversify their economies while protecting their biodiversity,”
World Bank Lead Economist Richard Damania said.
“It is also a way to
engage tourists in wildlife conservation and inject money into
local communities living closest to wildlife. Success stories
and lessons learned from nature-based tourism are emerging from
across the globe,” he added.
Kenya need to look to concrete examples of well-planned,
sustainably-run tourism operations that have led to increased
investments in protected areas and reserves, a reduction in
poaching, an increase in the non-consumptive value of wildlife
through viewing, and opportunities for rural communities to
improve their livelihoods through tourism-related jobs,
revenue-sharing arrangements, and co-management of natural
resources,” Damania said.
According to Damania,
tourism benefits need to be shared better.
“There is a lack of
balance with too many tourists in some places, and none
elsewhere. Some destinations face gross overcrowding, such as
South Africa’s Krueger National Park or the Masai Mara in
Kenya,” he said. “We need to be able to distribute the demand
for tourists more equally.”
wildlife-based tourism ensures that those living closest to
nature and wildlife must also benefit.
inhabitants that live in the national parks or at their
periphery are usually extremely poor. Having tourism operations
that can benefit them is extremely important for social
corporate reasons, but also for sustainability reasons.
“If the benefits of
tourism flow to the local communities, they will value the parks
much more,” he added.