Favourite destinations

USA: Domestic and international travellers made nearly 287 million visits to the 378 parks under the US National Park Service in 1998 compared to the 275 million visits in 1997. This travel generated US $14.2 billion and supported almost 300,000 tourist-related jobs during 1996.

Nepal: The Annapurna area is the most popular trekking destination in Nepal. Since 1989 the number of trekkers coming to the area has increased at an annual rate of approximately 18 per cent. In 1997, 50,708 international trekkers visited the area. Out these 12,000 visited the Annapurna sanctuary.

Galapagos Islands: Nature tourism has grown steadily since the pioneering days of the 1970's to the present level of over 60,000 visitors a year, making a US $100 million-plus contribution to the Ecuadorean economy.

Kenya: From 1983 to 1993 visitor arrivals to Kenya grew by 45 per cent. It is estimated that 80 per cent of Kenya's tourist market is drawn by wildlife interests and generates one-third of the country's foreign exchange earnings.

Australia: Around 600 ecotourism operators in Australia, where 85 per cent of these employ fewer than 20 staff. Ecotourism estimated to have an annual turnover of some US $250 million.

Peru: An estimated 47 per cent foreign tourists to Peru visited natural zones. The flow of visitors to the country's protected areas increased by 250 per cent during the 1990-1999 period.

Brazil: Five million visitors came to Brazil in 1999, five times as many as in 1991. Brazil has more than 150 conservation areas and an estimated number of 3.5 million visitors went to these nature reserves in 1998.

South Africa: Between 1986 to 1998, the number of visitors to game and nature reserves in South Africa has grown by 108 per cent annually. Game and nature reserves are the number one activity for visitors.