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Covid- 19: Devastating impacts, inspiring recovery

by

Anna Spenceley

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Acknowledgements: This article is drawn from a recent report from the Luc Hoffmann Institute by the author, “The Future of Nature-based Tourism: Impacts of COVID-19 and paths to sustainability” and other resources.

What impacts has the COVID-19 pandemic had on nature-based tourism in Africa?

In 2018, before the COVID-19 pandemic, over a third of all direct tourism contributions to gross domestic product (GDP) in Africa, and 8.8 million jobs were attributed to wildlife tourism. The UN World Tourism Organisation estimates that entrance, gate and park fees from all types of protected areas in 14 sub-Saharan African countries were an estimated USD 142 million per year, and safari tourism in Kenya alone generated USD 1.1 billion in 2019.

Revenues from tourism generate a substantial proportion of conservation area budgets in some countries. Many wildlife tourism operators base their business models on sustainable development principles. They have actively contributed to biodiversity conservation, including species and habitat conservation, directly through their operations or by channelling donations towards them (see Figure 1). Local people also benefit from nature-based tourism, including through tourism jobs, by selling products and services that

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