Whale Watching 2001
Whale watching as a commercial endeavor — with important educational, environmental, scientific, and other socioeconomic benefits — is now at least a $1 billion USD industry attracting more than 9 million participants a year in 87 countries and territories. Since the last worldwide survey in 1994, whale watching has continued to grow at a rapid rate. In 1991, only 31 countries and overseas territories were involved in whale watching; today there are 87. At the same time, the number of whale watchers has increased from a little more than 4 million for the year 1991, and 5.4 million for the year 1994, to 9 million in 1998. Total whale watching tourism expenditures, estimated at $504 million USD (£311 million GBP) in 1994, grew to $1,049 million USD (£655 million GBP) in 1998.