An Explorer’s Viewpoint on Reinventing Bears

British Columbia BearsShooting bears with cameras, not guns, brings in more money. That’s the conclusion from the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) in their recent study on the potential of bear viewing ecotourism in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest.

With increasing emphasis on conservation and low-impact tourism, bear viewing in the area has grown rapidly in the last decade. Now bear-viewing tourism generates 12 times more visitor spending than bear hunting and 11 times more direct revenue for the B.C. government.

The chance to see bears is attracting visitors from Europe, Asia and the United States. These long-haul tourists are attractive to tourism operators as they usually spend more than regional travelers. Hunting also attracts long haul travelers, mainly Americans, to spend large dollars on trophy hunts. CREST undertook their survey to determine whether consumptive or non-consumptive tourism was more profitable. And it appears a live bear is worth more than a dead bear!

To read more on how bears are reinventing this B.C. destination go to http://www.responsibletravel.org

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