[no subject]

From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 15:41:03 +1000


From: "Keith and Lindsay Fisher" <>
Subject:  Re: birding-aus Birdwatching Tourism
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 12:03:33 +1000

Hi Everyone,
We've been reading the thread on tourism /promotional activities and relate our experiences in
Cairns, particularly our interest in the Esplanade.

Most people would be aware of redevelopment plans for the Cairns Esplanade (we hope) and our involvement along with other interested members of Birds Australia and Bird Observers Club of Australia. As we have put forward our ideas of how such development plans should be modified to take into account the birdwatching experience of the Esplanade, we have constantly come up against the question of "how many people a year birdwatch along the Esplanade". The tourist organisations and developers want figures which are almost impossible to compile due to the nature of birdwatchers themselves. Whilst many tours pass through and could be monitored, individual birdos (of which would be the majority) pass through without anyone knowing. Without these figures its hard to get tourist
bodies interested - how do we get these numbers?
24 hour monitoring?

We have conducted many promotional activities on the Esplanade with such groups as the Double Helix Club and several school groups with Jan England. We also have a wave the waders goodbye promotion each March organised through Birds Australia. The promotions with the school children have received enthusiastic starts but the initial interest soon wanes after everyone has looked through the telescope - then the parents become interested. Its hard promoting those little brown jobs when even birdwatchers themselves throw up their hands in dismay whilst trying to identify them. However once shown the many identification features it becomes clearer and hopefully more interesting and

Many people stop and ask why are we looking at the mud and when we explain and give them a look through the telescope most become very interested - The next step is how do we expand on this interest? Part of the redevelopment plans call for an environment interpretive centre on the Esplanade and we are pushing to have a good bird interpretive display in it. We are also working with the council to upgrade the now outdated posters of Esplanade birds which was produced many years ago by them. The drawings will be replaced by photos and will be aimed at non birding people being able to identify some of the birds easily seen on the Esplanade - the Cairns City Council are
funding this project.

The local bird tour operators (most of whom are involved in this discussion), do a great job in promotion as it is their livelihood for which they get paid. However they also do lots of promoting that is unpaid through local bird groups, schools and tourist agencies (however successful or not) which goes largely unnoticed. Us amateurs do promotional activities as time permits in our spare time usually at a local level but with the increasing use of email we are getting out to the world. It is time consuming replying to peoples requests for information but it is promoting our activity -
hooray for BirdingAus!

Keith & Lindsay Fisher
PO Box 2209, Cairns QLD 4870

Russell Woodford

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