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Birdwatching and avitourism: A global review of research into its participant markets, distribution and impacts, highlighting future research priorities to inform sustainable avitourism management

Steven, R., Morrison, C. and Castley, J.G. (2015) Birdwatching and avitourism: A global review of research into its participant markets, distribution and impacts, highlighting future research priorities to inform sustainable avitourism management. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23 (8-9). pp. 1257-1276.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2014.924955
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Abstract

Avitourism is an emerging sub-sector of the nature-based tourism industry, where tourist travel motivations are focused around birdwatching. Certain aspects of the industry are yet to be examined adequately. This paper reviews patterns among 66 research studies published between 1989 and 2014 that examine avitourism, its participants and stakeholders across several research themes. There is a distinct northern hemisphere bias (n = 46) in avitourism research effort, with research dominated by studies of the avitourists themselves (n = 35). Key objectives of studies reviewed were primarily concerned with the economic impacts of avitourism (n = 21), the motivations of birders as avitourists (n = 18) and increasing our understanding of the avitourism market (n = 12). Ten studies specifically examined the types of birds or bird-related events (i.e. migrations) avitourists seek. Few studies (n = 6) have examined the negative impacts on birds arising from avitourism. The sustainability of avitourism is dependent upon understanding both the avitourism product and the willingness of avitourists to see particular species. Enhanced understanding of avitourism opportunities and avitourist desires could guide industry growth, assist the economies of many communities, highlight birds and habitats vulnerable to the negative impacts of avitourism, and help finance conservation work. A series of priority research themes are outlined.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/64986
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