On July 11 we were pleased to attend the opening ceremony of the first Campeche Bird Tourism Festival. Also present were many of the people who have joined efforts to create this new event around a common goal: to promote the values and the potential of bird related tourism in Campeche. May this new festival have a long and successful existence. In recent RIDE INTO BIRDLAND trip reports we’ve chronicled outings to some of those unique places that make Campeche a wonderful destination for birding. About 40% of Campeche’s territory is comprised of natural protected areas, placing the state among Mexico’s top in conservation. The ancient Maya city of Calakmul, a UNESCO World Heritage since 2002, has now been redefined as a site of great importance for both its cultural and natural significance, now including the vast territory of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in UNESCO’s list.
I was honored to participate in this event and came to the opening with the task of sharing a few ideas in a conference titled “Bird tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula: potential, ethics and positioning“. I attempted to put forth concepts on the economic and social potential of bird tourism, the importance of ethics for its correct implementation and the need to integrate bird tourism with local environmentalist initiatives. I also spoke about the need to develop a multi-level communications campaign to position Campeche as a world-class birding destination.
It was also very interesting to listen to the other speakers during the opening event and to witness the general agreement about the potential for bird tourism in Campeche and the Yucatan Peninsula. Campeche’s Secretaría de Turismo also participated actively in the festival’s organization, a positive show of interest in bird tourism from the governor’s office.
As part of the Festival’s calendar of activities, I’ll be conducting a three-day Bird Photography Workshop in the city of Campeche (September 19, 20, 21). Enrollment is limited to 12 participants with DSLR cameras and an interest in birds and nature, regardless of their previous experience. For more information, please read this description of our bird photography workshops. Included below is the full calendar of activities of the Campeche Bird Tourism Festival, everyone is invited to participate.
Pronatura Península de Yuacatán has backed the new Campeche Bird Tourism Festival with experience and enthusiasm.
PPY also invites the public to participate in the 2014 edition of the Toh Bird Festival, by now a peninsular classic on its XII edition. The Festival is currently taking place with activities that include drawing and photography contests, bird observation and bird photography workshops, conferences, activities in zoos, birding trips and the always exciting Xoc Ch’ich’ birdathon as the closing event in November. Get involved and be informed on facebook.com/FestivalAvesTohYucatan
MORE INFORMATION ON BIRD RELATED TOURISM We share the following links to interesting information. All documents are property of their respective authors and are available to the general public on the internet. .
Mexico’s CONANP details in this .pdf document its NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AND RECREATION IN NATURAL PROTECTED AREAS.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published this exhaustive demographic study of U.S. birders and their impact on the U.S. economy.
The Bird Canada web site provides information on economy and demographics of Canada’s birders.
The authors of this study (.pdf document) analyze the economic benefits for local communities in the areas of influence of the U.S. national wildlife refuges.
The American Birding Association explains the concept of “Birding Trails”.
This brochure produced by the state of Alabama is a good example of how some state governments in the U.S. are promoting their Birding Trails.
Information about the international programs of the American Bird Conservancy.
More information about bird tourism economics in this study by Tucson Audubon.
In this interesting document, Ornithologist Cagan Sekercioglu of Stanford University proposes a reasonable method for birding tours to support local conservation.
This study produced in Guatemala is a manual of sustainable practices for bird tourism.
This press-release informs reports on recent actions by the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo in support of bird tourism as a tool for conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This document produced by specialists from the Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora deals with the subject of training human resources for bird tourism.
There’s much more information available on the internet about these and other related topics. I invite you all to do further research, so that we may all contribute together to the growing culture of bird tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula.