Long term protection of national parks and nature reserves is very difficult unless economic benefits can be secured for local people. Ecotourism offers a possible income source, provided that there is a means of local revenue capture from the visitors. This article examines the sale of handicrafts and other ‘tourist merchandise’ as a possible means of generating local benefits. The article considers issues of supply and demand, new product development, marketing, and the sustainability of supply of materials used as inputs. It concludes that strong possibilities exist for market development and creation of new, sustainable, culturally acceptable products. Of particular interest are active linking of tourist merchandise production to agricultural or forestry projects that provide a sustainable supply of inputs, use of ‘craft as performance’ to promote product sale, and development of products that educate tourists about park resources and local cultures.

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