Ecotourism: Helpful or Harmful for Wildlife Conservation?

Ecotourism: Helpful or Harmful for Wildlife Conservation?

Wildlife-based ecotourism can provide protection and raise awareness for some of the world’s most valuable species and can create economic opportunities for communities around the world. But wildlife-focused tourism can also negatively impact the very species that we travel to observe in the wild. How can we identify and reduce our impacts on biodiversity as visitors and observers in nature?

In this presentation, Marissa Altmann will summarize her graduate research on the benefits and risks of wildlife-based ecotourism. She will also provide guidance to how tourists can support wildlife conservation. Marissa will also provide an overview of the working being done to identify and develop Wildlife Friendly™ Tourism worldwide.

About our Presenter, Marissa Altmann

Marissa Altmann is a conservation biologist based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is a Strategic Partnerships Coordinator with the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN –, where she is helping to develop the Wildlife Friendly™ Tourism initiative and other projects. She also works as a freelancer consultant on sustainability, wildlife trafficking, and more.
Marissa has worked with a variety of non-profits and agencies including the National Parks Conservation Association, World Animal Protection, the IUCN, the Smithsonian Institution, and others. She served as the first U.S. Youth Delegate at the 16th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2013.

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