Re: Sort of to do with birding.

To: Tony Russell <>
Subject: Re: Sort of to do with birding.
From: (chris dahlberg)
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 15:46:27 +1000 (EST)
Hi Tony
         Ian's new job has a lot to do with birding. A recent JCU survey put
a dissatisfaction rate of 80% for visitors to Daintree who came to see
wildlife. If that seems high I think it normal in Australia and some other
countries. Going on holidays to see wildlife is a growing part of tourism,
birders do it all the time and have been doing it for centuries. The
dissatisfaction rate is high for several reasons. The "ecotourist" is not
experienced, the guides are not experienced and the great majority of the
influential hospitality industry think that people come to stay in their
accommodation houses, first, and see the attractions second.
       That is a great formula for creating the 80% dissatisfaction rate. A
good way to correct this would be to employ experienced birders as the
guides and turn the hospitality industry's thinking around. Case in point
would be Lotus Bird Lodge near Musgrave in Cape York. I have stayed there,
it is a purpose built birdwatchers lodge in a good location and has been
operating for the past three years. After some lobbying, but mostly the
owners realisation, they have decided to employ an experienced birdwatcher
as the guide for the lodge. Ian is the man for the job, past president of
the Townsville BOCA and a driving force behind it, and birding in Townsville
generally. Most subscribers would think it quite fundamental to appoint the
guide first but this industry, infuriatingly doesn't think that way. I am
not bashing the lodge necessarily because they are receptive to the needs of
birdwatchers. I see this as a milestone in realising the potential of
"ecotourism" because they will get good results in what they set out to do.
Another good quality birdwatching product is an asset to us all. If that
formula above gets broken I like to publicly applaud it.
        Mercifully I have left out the horror anecdotes that have coloured
my thoughts on this subject over many years.   

Chris Dahlberg

Even though my only contact with Ian Clayton has been by recent email, I
>would like to join Chris in congratulating Ian on his appointment to Lotus
>and in wishing him well. ( And, after that brush up I look forward to  a
>free tour ).
>Tony Russell.  MP.
>Tony Russell
>Ph: 08 82078470W
>    08 83375959H
>Fax:08 82078422
>e mail: 

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