Guided birding tours: an examination of the market, important tour parameters, and participant demographics
Che, D 2003, 'Guided birding tours: an examination of the market, important tour parameters, and participant demographics', in JJ Murdy (ed.), Proceedings of the 2003 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium, Bolton Landing, New York, 6-8 April, United States Department of Agriculture, USA, pp. 194-202.
Demographic and psychographic trends favor the future growth in the number of birders and their associated expenditures. Highlycommitted birders, a subset of the larger bird watching population, are the target market for specialized guided birding tours marketed by commercial and non-profit entities. One nonprofit entity, the Kalamazoo Nature Center (KNC), offers a limited number of guided birding tours to service current members, attract new members, and support its programs. With an eye towards increasing the number of participants on its current tours and potentially increasing the number of future tours, a study of regional (Great Lakes), national, and international birding tours offered by commercial and non-profit entities was conducted. Specifically, this study examined guided birding tours in terms of a number of parameters important to birders, including group size, guide experience, time spent birding, cost, services provided, and tour operator size and length of operation. This paper will present findings on those parameters as well as the participant demographics on the examined birding tours.