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The Economic Side of Hunting Tourism

It's been several months since the internet was in uproar about Cecil the Lion or the dentist that shot him. It will only be a matter of time before another “trophy hunt” will gain the attention of the mass media. Regardless of how you feel about the morality or righteousness of hunting, there are definitely some positive economic effects. The Safari Club International Foundation recently released the following:

Washington, DC – Results from a newly published study show that the overall contribution of hunting tourism in eight African nations is an estimated $426 million annually. More than 18,000 hunter tourists visit Africa every year. The study was featured in an article by Bloomberg Economics on June 3.

“This work demonstrates that hunting has a much more significant economic impact across southern and eastern Africa than previously thought,” stated Joseph Hosmer, President of SCI Foundation. The report was produced by Southwick Associates, a leading market research and economics firm specializing in outdoor industries.

“Our results show that a substantial number of jobs and income are created by each hunter who visits Africa, and by hunting collectively,” said Rob Southwick, President of Southwick Associates, Inc. The study investigated the extent of hunters’ annual spending and total economic contributions within an eight-country survey area between 2012 and 2014. More than 53,000 jobs, from South Africa to Ethiopia, are directly supported by the hunting industry.

“Considering that hunting occurs in regions where photographic safari operations and agriculture are often limited, the economic benefits of hunting are critical,” continued Southwick. Photographic tourism and agriculture may not be viable or provide sufficient income on large expanses of the rural African landscape. In many rural areas, hunting is a sustainable land use that offers economic opportunity and incentives for conservation.

“Hunting gives wildlife value and changes a community’s attitude towards conservation,” says Hosmer. “In areas that are supported by revenue generated by hunting, we see fewer human-wildlife conflicts, more tolerance towards problematic or dangerous species, and less poaching.” The results from this report show that hunting tourism is a driving force in conservation and positively contributes to a sustainable future for Africa’s wildlife and local economies.

Read the featured story at . Access to the Southwick Associates technical report and full story, The Conservation Equation in Africa, is available on SCI Foundation’s website at

You can learn more about the Safari Club International Foundation here.

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