Tourism and biodiversity are intimately related. In fact, the prosperity of tourism industry is directly dependent upon healthy ecosystems. Most tourism activities are also directly based on the many services provided by ecosystems. These recreational values offered by ecosystems have been recognized as one of the main cultural services that nature provides to humankind, along with spiritual, aesthetic, and educational values. Tourism related activities and services, if carried out in a sustainable manner, can have major synergies with the conservation agenda:
- tourism can create economic development opportunities as an alternative to unsustainable use of biodiversity
- tourism can generate funds for conservation of the visited sites (through corporate donations, individual visitor contributions, etc)
- tourism can raise awareness and support the education of locals and visitors alike on the values of biodiversity.
IUCN’s Business and Biodiversity Programme aims at: