Cape Town - According to new information, "Walk on the Wilde Side: Estimating the Global Magnitude of Visits to Protected Areas," which was published in PLOS Biology, an open access, peer-reviewed journal, South Africa's Table Mountain National Park and Kruger National Park are part of the most popular parks and/or nature preserves in the world.
According to the study, the Table Mountain National Park (formerly Cape Peninsula National Park) receives around 1.4 million visits per year, making it the sixth most visited park on the face of the earth.
The Kruger National Park receives 1 million visits per year, making it the eight most visited park.
Robin Naido, the World Wildlife Fund's lead wildlife scientist and a contributor to the study, told CNN that the study's authors analyzed data from 556 parks worldwide to estimate the economic value of visits to the world's most popular protected areas. The study did not include Antarctica.
The study was conducted and found that more than 8 billion people visit national parks and nature reserves across the globe every year, and that the visitors to those protected areas generate more than an estimated R7 trillion for tourism (as calculated from $600 @ R12.02/$) annually.
Of the trillions of Rands visitors pay to these establishments every year, only about R120 billion is ploughed back into the parks for the ultimate safekeeping and continuation of these protected places.
The most visited park in the world, with 14.4 million visits a year, is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco in the United States.
Other national parks and preserves who made the list as being of the most popular in the world were determined as the following:
• Seoraksan National Park, South Korea: 3.1 million visits/year.
• Mount Huangshan, China: 1.3 million visits/year.
• Gondwana Rainforests of Australia: 510,000 visits/year.
• Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park: 380,000 visits/year.
• Lake District, United Kingdom 10.5 million visits/year.
• Peak District, United Kingdom 10.1 million visits/year.
• Golden Gate National Recreation Area, United States: 14.4 million visits/year. This park is the most visited in the world.
• Lake Mead National Recreational Area, United States: 7.8 million visits/year.
South America and Caribbean
• Tijuca National Park, Brazil: 737,000 visits/year.
• Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Peru: 691,000 visits/year.
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