birding-aus Birdwatching Tourism

Subject: birding-aus Birdwatching Tourism
From: (Chris Dahlberg)
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 17:07:39 +1000 (EST)
Hi All
         My post of 13 Jan stimulated some comment and in turn I would like
to comment.
    Some common threads are:

     1.   We all know the value of watching birds and apart from
birdwatchers nobody cares much about them unless there is a stimulus. (in
particular Lynn Jenkin)  During a crocodile tour in the top end she and
husband Dick noticed the other passengers were bored with their 3rd
crocodile and became interested in the birds.

    Comment: What an absolutely golden oportunity the tourism industry has
to introduce people to birdwatching.

     2.   Travel Agents and "Information Centres" don't know about
birdwatching. (Mike Tarburton-Alice Springs Airport Info Centre, and Peter
Woodhall planning his NZ trip)

    Comment: Whilst Heather Gibbs suggests telling Travel Agents about the
benefits of birdwatching tourism, it is all wasted breath. Heather went on
to say big companies are people and can be personal. That also is wasted.
Travel Agents and Information Centres make their money on commissions. They
patronise the tourism product that earns them the most money. If they work
for a big company they are instructed to do likewise. My advice is do not
use them. You will not get what you want in most cases and you pay a premium
for it. Most certainly you will not get any bona-fide birdwatching tourism

     3.    Environmental students. I hope everyone read Jill Denning's and
Denise Goodfellow's post on students. With all the "Eco" courses especially
ecotourism courses birdwatching is a non event.

    Comment: I go back to my original post of 1% of ecotourism involves
birdwatching and 0.25% of general tourism involves birdwatching. I know
that, Denise Goodfellow knows that and I hope everybody else on this list
now also knows that.

    4.     Birdwatching Tourism operators motivation. Read Bill Jolly's
post, I quote from it: Business-wise we don't ever expect any dollar return
from that outlay in our life time.

    Comment:  I have met about half of Australia's birdwatching tourist
operators. That is not a lot of people. They are motivated by seeing birds
and showing birds. It is the same overseas. They are exceptionally good at
their jobs and very poorly paid. They are the front line.

    5.     Visiting birdwatchers do not go on set tours and make their own
arrangements. Actually a lot will but I know what Denise means. Someone
starting up can expect to wait several years before they are sufficiently
well known. There is no help from any direction that I know of. Certainly
the conventional tourism promotion way will not work if you want to take out

  If I initiated this post elsewhere there would be little reaction. Posting
this on birding-aus I might, I just might get some good feedback. Two years
or so ago Birds Australia were asking for comments on an ecotourism policy.
Do they have a comment or does Birds Australia have a policy on birdwatching
tourism. I hope Hugo is not on holidays.

Cheers for now


  Chris Dahlberg's Specialised River Tours. Daintree Village Phone/Fax 4098 7997

******   Our river tour can be seen on:


                   along with links to other local sites especially

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