Which assets contribute more to the country wildlife economy potential for nature-based tourism?
This indicator represents assets contributing to wildlife tourism, such as wildlife-watching species richness, biomes richness and landscape features. Both wildlife watching-species and biomes richness were weighted by an index of attractiveness based on expert opinion. Landscape features index refers to the occurrence of stunning landscapes, in particular great lakes, mountain ranges and warm coral reef. All the indices where standardised on a 0 to 3 scale and then summed up to the total potential indicator. The final indicator ranges between 1 and 9 and was rescaled to low potential (1-3), medium potential (4-6), and high potential (7-9). The landscape features indicator refers to the presence of lakes, coral reefs and mountain ranges in the countries. The landscape feature indicator is simple presence-absence of big lakes (GLWD_P(0/1), Lehner & Döll, 2004), mountain ranges (GMBA_P(0/1), Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment, Mountain Inventory v1.2) and warm-water coral reefs (CR_P(0/1), UNEP-WCMC) combined at country level without weighting factors. The indicator varies between 0 and 3. LFR = GLWD_P(0/1) + GMBA_P(0/1) + CR_P(0/1) Despite its simplistic and coarse approach, we included this indicator because it covers some dimensions of wildlife potential underestimated by the other two components. The presence of lakes is strongly correlated with birdwatching, which is quite an important ecotourism niche. Coral reef diving is generally driven by wildlife attraction (coloured corals and fishes), sometimes targeting specific species such as sea turtles and whale sharks. In our indicator, this feature accounts for marine wildlife tourism potential, without overlapping with generic beach tourism. Mountain ranges are prominent landscapes hosting some iconic species – though less known than the Big Five – such as gelada baboon and Ethiopian wolves, mountain forest birds and primates (e.g., mangabeys). These landscape features represent desirable add-ons to usual safaris, since they provide opportunities for tourists to walk or swim, and so obtain relief from offroad driving and rough conditions.