introduction to avitourism
To develop South Africa into the world's leading birding destination for the benefit of birds, their habitats and communities through responsible avitourism
BirdLife South Africa's Avitourism Division developed the concept of birding routes. These birding routes provide information to local and international avitourists on where to go, what to see, and where to stay within a certain geographical area. In addition, the routes initiate a number of local community projects aimed at promoting the conservation of birds and their habitats by giving birds an economic value to the communities in which the route is situated.
Specifically the aims of the birding routes are:
- To promote the conservation of birds and their habitats through the education of local communities within the routes
- To provide local and international birders with up to date and detailed information to enable them to enjoy the avifauna of the region. The routes provide information on birding sites, birding events, community bird guides and the location of Birder Friendly Establishments through a variety of mediums such as a website, brochures and maps.
- To train and develop community bird guides from local communities and provide a source of employment and income for local communities through bird guiding and community projects
- To promote the conservation of wild birds and their habitats through community conservation projects
- To ensure that products used and promoted are socially, environmentally and economically responsible
- To increase the competitiveness of the region by developing birding routes, products and birding infrastructure
- To market the services of birding routes, guides, accommodation establishments, community and conservation projects
The overall objective of the Birding Routes is to achieve meaningful socio-economic benefits for local communities as well as conservation benefits by using avitourism to increase the competiveness of the region. Through these birding routes, BirdLife South Africa seeks to achieve their conservation objectives by giving birds and their habitats an economic value.