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New Report from JetBlue and The Nature Conservancy Uses AI Technology to Evaluate the Impact of Natural Resources on Tourism

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan 15, 2019--JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU), along with The Nature Conservancy, whose mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends, today released a new report focusing on the connection between natural resources and tourism. The report’s results revealed that the Caribbean is more dependent on tourism than any other region across the globe and highlights new data on the benefits that coral reefs provide to the travel industry and the region’s economy.

Coral reef health is diminishing from impacts such as pollution and climate change. This report, also supported by Microsoft and the World Travel & Tourism Council, utilized machine learning and artificial intelligence to quantify the significant value that reefs contribute to the Caribbean economy through reef-adjacent activities, such as sailing, diving and snorkeling, and the direct connection on tourism. The value of reef-associated tourism is estimated at more than $7.9 billion annually from over 11 million visitors. This accounts for 23 percent of all tourism spending and is equivalent to more than 10 percent of the region’s gross domestic product.

This marks the second study funded by JetBlue to measure Caribbean ecosystems and correlate it to travel industry revenue. “Estimating Reef-Adjacent Tourism Value in the Caribbean” follows 2015’s The updated report analyzes the component of the travel sector that depends on coral reefs but does not make direct use of them in the way that diving or snorkeling does. Reef-adjacent tourism value comes from beach activities, coastal views, delicious seafood and tranquil waters for swimming and boating—many of the reasons people flock to the Caribbean. The new report can be found here.

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