On the occasion of World Tourism Day (September 27) the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention together with LT&C featured the International Wadden Sea as a good example of linking tourism and conservation: The potential of tourism to support the conservation of wetlands has long been underestimated. With increasing trend for nature-based tourism, World Tourism Day offers an opportunity to underline the importance of the Ramsar Convention’s mission to protect the world’s most important wetlands and consider how sustainable tourism can support it.
International tourism is expected to rise to 1.8 billion by 2030. Domestic tourism is even more significant with estimates pointing to 4 billion domestic tourists worldwide.
Economic activity generated by travel and tourism creates around 5% of global GDP and supports an estimated 6-7% of the world’s jobs.
With half of all international tourists travelling to wetlands, especially to beaches in coastal areas, and the additional value of domestic tourism and recreational day trips, the economic value of wetland tourism is enormous.
Wetlands are amongst the most productive of the world’s ecosystems, providing a range of services that sustain our lives. These include ‘cultural’ services, such as the aesthetic, recreational and spiritual values found in many wetlands. It is these services, in part, that explain why wetlands are such popular tourist destinations, attracting millions of visitors each year.
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