Ecotourism and poverty alleviation: Contribution of tourism in developing countries (2004)

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Ecotourism has immense potential to help the global fight against poverty. A WTO initiated study concluded that in developing countries, particularly in the least developed countries, tourism is almost universally the leading source of economic growth, foreign exchange, investment and job creation.

Foreign exchange earnings from tourism have helped to narrow trade and foreign exchange deficits. Tourism contributes significantly to 11 of the 12 countries that together account for 80 percent of the world's poor. Seven of these countries are in Asia—People's Republic of China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines. Tourism is a major source of livelihoods in the Mekong region, accounting for 9.7 percent of GDP in Lao PDR and 6.7 percent in Viet Nam. In Cambodia, tourism was a major contributor to its economic recovery in 1999, and accounts for 9.2 percent of GDP. In Thailand tourism has remained the largest source of foreign exchange earnings since 1982. The contribution of tourism earnings to Nepal’s GDP increased from one percent in 1974 to 3.6 percent during 1998/99; it even crossed 4 percent in 1995. But due to political disturbances it dropped to 3.1 in 2001 (Tenth Plan Document, 2002). Since ecotourism is growing in the Asia Pacific region it must account for a significant part of the above contributions.
Language: English
Imprint: MOPE: State of the Environment/Eco-Tourism/2004: 2004
Series: Report,