Tian Tian the giant panda
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The economic impact of pandas: A 'giant tourist magnet'

For the past month, Edinburgh Zoo has been hopeful for the first panda cub to be born in Britain with reports that Tian Tian may be pregnant.

She and her mate Yang Guang are the UK's only pair of giant pandas, leased from the Chinese government.

Jeff Wallace, Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Memphis, advised the Scottish tourist board on the financial impact of the UK Giant Panda project.

He told BBC Radio 5 live's Wake Up to Money that Memphis Zoo's panda generated returns of $20m (£12.8m) a year for the zoo and local economy.

He said: "Attendance at the Edinburgh Zoo will remain elevated because of the increased awareness of the zoo itself. Of the 17 zoos around the world with pandas outside of China, every single one of them wants a baby panda."

  • 04 Sep 2013
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