Wetlands still suffer from negative perceptions transmitted from the past. However, the situation started changing several decades ago.
Wetlands, their surroundings and human settlements near wetlands constitute aesthetically attractive ecosystems as well as specific cultural and livelihood features. Various local communities are strongly connected with their environment, which has become part of their history, inherited livelihood and educational references. These areas have become for many a source of contemplation, peacefulness, evoke a variety of emotions and are places for discovery during leisure time. Families visit wetlands and take advantage of the natural environment to educate children in respecting wildlife, observing natural beauty, and as a place where they can find a balance that is lost during their fast and materialistic life in urban environments. Some wetlands are important tourist destinations because of their aesthetic value and the high diversity of animal and plant life they harbour. In some locations, eco-tourism plays a major role to sustain rural economies.
The measurement of the indicator “Tourism and education” intends to assess through data available from wetland-related visitor centres, the change, between two dates, in the frequency of visits, for education and tourism purposes. This MWO indicator has yet to be developed.