(noun) Tourism that focuses on and highlights local birding opportunties. Avitourism is one of the fastest growing types of environmental tourism, or ecotourism. This type of travel takes advantage of birding-related events, and many tourist destinations promote birding festivals, hotspots, trails, preserves, parks and other locations to encourage birders to travel to the area, as well as highlighting local endangered or endemic bird species.
Many tourism agencies are only just learning how profitable avitourism can be. Just to see local wildlife – that does not need the same economic or artificial support as other types of tourist destinations and attractions – birders will spend hundreds of dollars or more in travel costs, accommodations, dining and other incidental expenses. Birding travel also draws attention to local avifauna and other wildlife, which can be beneficial for raising conservation issues and promoting a more sustainable culture and environmental appreciation.
To further promote avitourism, many lesser known destinations that have a bountiful resource in their local birds are arranging birding tours with local guides and eco-lodges. These types of specialized travel opportunities can encourage birding travel, and as more birders visit an area, other parts of its travel potential can also be promoted and the tourism industry can benefit in multiple ways.
Photo – Superb Fairywren © Wayne Butterworth
Birding Travel, Birding Tourism