Once they see it, they want to save it. It's an adage we believe in. We support and encourage conscientious, respectful ecotourism. It helps local people earn vital income—and encourages them to recognize the long-term advantage of protecting polar bears and their habitat. After all, it's a habitat they share.
Tourism also enlightens and inspires visitors to see the necessity of safeguarding the future of polar bears and their arctic wilderness. But does it harm the bears? PBI funded a landmark human impact study to explore this question. Researchers found that tourism doesn't affect the bears when tour operators follow simple guidelines. Ecotour companies have embraced these because — like all of us — they want what's best for the bears.