The Power of Wildlife Tourism is far more than we realise 

 A new seminal report, led by leading tiger expert Dr Raghu Chundawat, and supported by TOFTigers, entitled ‘The Value of Wildlife Tourism to Conservation and Communities’, covered 4 Tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh. It highlights the transformational nature of this sector.

It reports that wildlife tourism in Madhya Pradesh generated revenues of INR 166 Crore (US$25 million) per annum:
·         Generating more park revenue than the MP state funds for their protection
INR 19.42 crore (US$3million pa)
·         Creating 2525 full time jobs in some of the poorest regions of India
Also, within areas where nature tourism is active;
·         It reduced poverty – with such communities 8 times better off - and in better health
·         It reduced the bordering communities dependency on the forests
·         It created a more ‘tiger friendly’ populace around parks
·         It boosted educational attainment levels in rural areas
The report also highlights the haphazard and unplanned way in which much of wildlife tourism in the state has been developed, and the resultant environmental issues that it causes, including waste, water, noise and light pollution.
It concludes that with better long term planning and a more stakeholder friendly and partnership based management style, this underutilised, mostly unrecognised and often ignored sector could help to transform wildlife conservation across South Asia in the years ahead.


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