World Tourism Organization Welcomes $1 Million Donation To Grow Wildlife Tourism For The Benefit Of People And Planet
28 October, Guangzhou, China – The World Tourism Organization is to continue to lead the way in growing wildlife tourism and harnessing it as a driver for conservation and development, supported by a major new US$1 million donation from the Chimelong Flora and Fauna Conservation Foundation.
In 2018, the wildlife tourism sector contributed an estimated $120 billion to the global economy and this amount is set to keep growing as more people travel to enjoy nature. The economic benefits derived from tourism are encouraging countries to step up their wildlife conservation efforts, many with the help of UNWTO in partnership with Chimelong.
To date, 15 projects have been launched through the UNWTO/Chimelong Initiative, all designed to promote and strengthen sustainable tourism practices related to wildlife tourism. This new $1 million donation, announced within the framework of the Chimelong Tourism Development Forum in Guangzhou, will be used to continue the initiative.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Wildlife tourism has the potential to benefit both people and planet and so play a key role in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. This is a sector with huge potential and this donation from the Chimelong will help destinations across Africa and the Asia-Pacific region enjoy the many benefits this can bring. On behalf of UNWTO, I thank the Chimelong Flora and Fauna Conservation Foundation for their generous support.”
Tourism sector leaders participating in the International Forum also benefitted from a special session on media relations and communications within the context of wildlife tourism. Led by Marcelo Risi, Chief of Communications at UNWTO, the session was designed to help participants promote themselves as wildlife tourist destinations, thereby benefitting from a more diverse tourism economy and the related benefits this can bring, including more jobs particularly in rural areas.