Key holiday destinations see a spike in shark ecotourism
Sharks are quickly becoming one of the greatest assets for tropical holiday destinations. Research from various universities and organizations have highlighted the potential that shark ecotourism holds with the industry having the potential of generating $780 million in revenue each year over the next 20 years. Destinations like the Maldives and Isla Mujeres are already reaping the benefits of shark eco tourism.
Research is opening up the eyes of the global tourism industry to the to the fact that sharks are more valuable alive than dead. In May 2013 research coming out of the University of British Columbia published a paper weighing the economic benefits of the shark fin trade against that of shark tourism.
The results of that study showed that while shark fisheries earned $630 million annually- a sum which has been declining over the past ten years, the relatively new shark eco tourism industry currently earns $314 million annually- a sum that is expected to balloon to a remarkable $780 million annually over the next 20 years.
Angelo Villagomez manager of the Pew Charitable Trusts' global shark conservation campaign noted:
"Sharks are fished because they have value in fisheries, but a lot of tropical island locations, especially holiday destinations, have found that they can get a lot more out of their resources with dive tourism".
Two such tropical holiday destinations that are already reaping the benefits of shark tourism are the Maldives and Isla Mujeres near Cancun Mexico.
Research from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP) recently published in the peer reviewed journal PeerJ highlighted the extent to which the Maldives' tourism industry was dependent on shark ecotourism from the island nation's South Ari atoll.
The findings of that study showed that whale shark ecotourism accounted for nearly 50 per cent of tourism in the Maldives making $9.4 million last year with 77,000 travellers were enticed to book Maldives holidays in 2013 to see the whale sharks.
In Isla Mujeres, Ceviche Tours one tour company dedicated to sustainable shark tourism has started its very own annual Whale Shark Festival seven years ago. The event, held every July, offers visitors the opportunity to swim with the sharks but also seeks to educate attendees of the importance of shark conservation.
"Instead of selling a fish, if you bring people to snorkel with that fish, you can make a sustainable living off of the life of the animal."
Noted John Vater head of Ceviche Tours.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Maldives Browse all
Kurumba Island is a dream resort with so much to dazzle guests that most return over and over again.
- Choose from an ample choice of excellent dining options, top recreational activities and fantastic entertainment
- Just a 10-minute boat drive to paradise nestled amidst tropical gardens and white sandy beaches
- For keen marine enthusiasts a house reef is only a few feet away from the island
Do the castaway experience in style and live your Robinson Crusoe dream
- Lose yourself in over 3 km of pristine beaches and aquamarine lagoons
- Beautiful bungalows nestled in the tropical gardens or on the beach, right over the lagoon
- Sample mouth-watering delights at a wide selection of dining options from flavours of the Orient to Mediterranean delights
Relax and unwind on Paradise Island before picking up the pace in glamorous Dubai enjoy the Duty free shopping
- Take a dip in the turquoise lagoon or the onsite pool, go snorkelling and windsurfing or opt for land sports recreation
- Your Dubai abode sits close to the Mall of the Emirates and a short ride to the famous Jumeirah Beach
- Paradise Island accommodation are Bungalows with direct access to the beach or Water Bungalows with private sun terrace
Follow secret pathways through tropical gardens, savour exquisite cuisine, scuba dive to spot whale sharks or simply chill on the sands...
- Special touches include: cinema screenings on the beach, secret bars and a message in a bottle with a hidden surprise
- Enjoy access to some of Maldives' most beautiful dive sites and explore the depths of the Indian Ocean
- Take your pick from seven exquisite restaurants and six lively bars
The Nalaguraidhoo Island of the Maldives is one of the most sublime coastal landscapes you'll ever lay eyes, what with...
If you are looking for serenity and tranquillity coupled with luxurious elegance, then Adaaran Select Meedhupparu is the...
Venture to the Lhaviyani Atoll in the Maldives islands to experience a holiday like no other. This section of the...
Escape from day-to-day life for a while and take refuge in the Asian paradise of the Maldives while you spend 8 days...
True Maldivian style comes to the fore at Reethi Beach Resort, situated on the tiny Baa Atoll. The PADI 5-star Dive...
Get away from the mundane and enjoy eight days of uninterrupted sun and sand on the shores of one of the most sought...