Tourism in West African protected areas: how does it contribute to conservation?
Africa is a vast reservoir of biodiversity where we found about one third of the world terrestrial biological diversity. Therefore, ecotourism can prove to be an important tool for conservation or development. Actually, tourism in Africa presents a considerable development potential, but it is very unequally distributed in the region. In addition, it is marginal compared to the other important European, American or Asian destinations: Africa receives only 4% of the world international arrivals, although it represents 22% of the earth surface and 15% of the world population.
In order to explain and understand these gaps, this study aims at analysing ecotourism current situation in West African protected areas and proposing a strategy that would serve as a management model in accordance with the objectives of international conventions and sustainable development. The analysis of the data collected, on the one hand from a sample of 23 protected areas of the sub-region, and on the other hand from the bibliographical research, enabled to make an assessment of ecotourism state in West African protected areas and understand the impacts of ecotourism on the protected area and on the development of its periphery.
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