• Introduction

    Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity and one of the world’s major trade activities. In 2010, there were over 940 million international tourist arrivals, representing a growth of 6.6% (as compared to 2009) amounting to an overall annual export income of over $1 trillion (UNTWO, 2011). For many developing countries it is one of the main sources of foreign exchange income and number one export category.

    Global tourists are increasingly desirous of adventurous activities involving travel to remote international wildlife sites where they can view endangered species in their natural habitats rather than in captivity (Macfie & Williamson, 2010). Great apes often figure highly on the list of wild animals that tourists would like to see in the wild, and people travel great distances to visit them in their natural habitats. Currently there are a number of sites where people can view chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), eastern gorillas (Gorilla beringei), Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) and Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii). A few bonobo (Pan paniscus) sites are in the initial stages of tourism development.

  • How can tourism help ape conservation?

  • Are there also negative aspects of tourism of great apes?

  • How is great ape tourism implemented /applied in practice?

Compiled and edited 2011 by Kay H. Farmer
Reviewed by Hjalmar Kuehl, Josephine Head and Neba Funwi-Gabga

  • References