I think some people are missing the point I was trying to make earlier here.
I certainly don't think anyone who pays to go see the birds now is doing
anything wrong, that's their prerogative. However, you are not being
charged $450 for a complete guided experience. You are being charged $450
for access to the site. As I understand it on top of this you have to pay
for your own car, fuel, and food. This means for a day trip to the site you
could be looking at over $800. Add flights and accommodation and it is not
a cheap trip by any stretch of the imagination. My objection is in no way
to do with the idea of charging to show people the birds. If you are going
to do that though, offer people something at a reasonable price. Normally I
would say let the market sort out what a reasonable price is, but we have
here a completely artificial situation unlikely to be affected by market
forces as it's probably a once-off. Whether you choose to compare it to
Thai birding or US birding, or anywhere else in the world, my original point
stands that I wouldn't pay $450 for access to a site anywhere for any bird,
and as I suspected other people in the birding community feel the same way.
I sincerely hope one day an indigenous bird or wildlife guiding business
does get off the ground, but if they are being led to believe this is the
kind of pricing structure they should use, I doubt it would succeed.
For those who have paid, and seen the birds, good for you and I'm sure you
consider the experience worth it. Spare a thought for those of us who would
have loved to have gone had the price been easier to bear.
On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 6:15 PM, Elizabeth Shaw
> I agree with Steve,
> When I was doing bird guiding in sw Gippsland up to 6 years ago I really
> needed to clear at least $200 a day to cover costs - I never paid myself a
> wage. Insurance is an immense cost to small nature guiding tours, not to
> mention cost of running vehicles and remember four guides - one from CLC and
> three local landowners who need a lot of knowledge to avoid sacred sites and
> inadvertent trespass and damage to them. The aboriginal guides probably
> devote about 3 days to a one day tour with customers.
> As Steve said, the distances cover and the resultant wear and tear on
> vehicles to get guides to the meeting place, food and other supplies all
> cost and costs out there are exorbitant to travellers and locals alike.
> Don't assume that the guides are sitting around doing nothing waiting for
> the occasional tour group to come along. They probably have some other work
> they have to leave undone or pay for someone else to do.
> Comparing outback Australia to places like Thailand is ridiculous and
> insensitive. I too missed out of seeing the Princess parrot while I was up
> there earlier this year. While the cost would be crippling for me living on
> ill-health retirement superannuation, I might have somehow made it happen -
> maybe even forego the two nights most basic accommodation (not counting
> food) at Yulara.
> Elizabeth Shaw
> Phillip Island