Different economic methods are being used to estimate the economic benefits generated by nature (wildlife) tourism. The most prominent of these are economic valuation analysis and economic impact analysis. These methods often provide divergent and conflicting estimates of the economic benefits obtained from wildlife tourism, as is demonstrated in this article by the use of a microeconomic model. Tourism Research Australia has estimated the economic benefits to Australia of nature tourism based on levels of first round expenditure generated by nature tourists in Australia. This is a form of economic impact analysis. These estimates are summarised and it is argued that they exaggerate the level of economic benefits generated by nature tourism. The economic impact of nature tourism can be important at the local or regional level. A way is suggested of measuring these impacts accurately. The conservation consequences of the economic benefits from wildlife tourism are discussed taking into account both their direct and indirect economic impacts. Whether or not increased economic benefits from wildlife tourism contribute to nature conservation depends on several specified circumstances. In conclusion, it is emphasised that organisations and enterprises in the wildlife tourism industry are diverse. Sources of their diversity are identified and the types of economic challenges facing those within the wildlife tourism industry are outlined.