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Birdwatching tours


Local benefits:

A new source of income developing this niche market segment.

Travellers benefits:

Develop a list of local birds species and seasonality and offer birdwatching tours provided by a knowledgeable passionate guide.

Benefits to the environment:

Raise Travelers’awareness towards the importance of biodiversity, conservation of birds and their habitats.


Offer birdwatching tours and contribute to raise environmental travelers’ awareness

We can distinguish three categories of birdwatchers travelers:

  • Twitchers are the most passionate and fanatical about the subject. They travel from one place to another quickly to tick on their list as much birds as possible for their personal “collection”.
  • Enthusiastics are nature lovers who have a specific passion for birds. During their vacation, they enjoy watching new species of birds, but they are generally also interested about wildlife more globally and take the time to visit the place and doing other kind of nature-based and cultural activities as well.
  • Casual are travelers who enjoy nature and outdoor activities. They are not specialists of birds, but they could do a birdwatching tours if you offer it to them as part of one of their vacation activities.

By offering birdwatchers-friendly facilities you can attract twitchers and enthusiastics travelers. And you can then use these facilities to offer birdwatching tours to more casual travelers as an additional extra activity. It’s a good way to raise awareness about birds (and then also more globally wildlife) biodiversity issues.

Compil oiseaux Costa Rica

How to adapt your hotel to birdwatchers’ expectations?

Watch the above video to learn from the successful practices implemented by Laguna del Lagarto Lodge in Costa Rica.

Knowledgeable Guides
  • Make sure you have more knowledge about local birds than your guest: varieties, behaviour, historical info, where to find them.
  • Guides listen carefully to the specific needs of each birdwatcher on arrival, to provide him good tips and personalized tours.
  • Train your guides in English language skills to better welcome birdwatchers from the two main emitting countries where birdwatching is very popular as a hobby: USA & UK.
Birdlife Quality & Sustainability
  • Adhere to, and insist on, ethical birdwatching behaviour, such as avoiding nests and young birds (cf. Birds Directive).
  • Inform on how you contribute to the conservation of birds and their habitats.
  • Develop a list of local bird species and seasonality. If the hotel does not have the money to pay for a professional ornithologist to make this list, contact a birding association (for example the American or British Birding Association) to swap room & board for their knowledge.
  • Emphasize especially on rare or endemic birds.
Birder-friendly Facilities & Accommodation
  • Invest in appropriate birding infrastructure such as trails, boardwalks, hides and observation towers.
  • Develop more small bird hideouts, provide nice light and backgrounds to enhance photographic opportunities.
  • More comfortable accommodation for senior birdwatchers or groups, more basics for twitchers.
  • Adapt your guest services to their specific needs, for example: coffee already served very early on the morning (birdwatchers like to start the day at sunrise)), WIFI so they can quickly start to share their pictures online, lunch boxes to take away to eat in the nature, books about local birds and wildlife at disposal.
Range of Other Activities
  • Offer other nature-based and cultural activities.
  • Link indigenous knowledge and heritage components to existing bird tours.
  • Develop a special bird photography tour or add such optional modules to existing birdwatching tours.

Read further about the subject:

Seen at

Name Type of facility Environment Country Swap?
MATER - Sustainable Tourism Packages and tours rural, urbain, mer, montagne, zone-chaude, zone-temperee, zone-froide Argentina No
MATER - Tourisme Durable Séjours et circuits rural, urbain, mer, montagne, zone-chaude, zone-temperee, zone-froide Argentina No
MATER - Turismo Sustentable Estancias y excursiones rural, urbain, mer, montagne, zone-chaude, zone-temperee, zone-froide Argentina No
La Laguna del Lagarto Lodge Hotels & guest houses rural, zone-chaude Costa Rica Yes

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