Monday, 8 August 2016 7:50 AM

Bird Watching as a Tourism Opportunity

Building on the success it has achieved positioning the Solomon Islands as a true mecca for bird watching enthusiasts in the key Australian and New Zealand markets, the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau is now taking the message to the United Kingdom.

Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB) marketing officer Brenden Mautoa, will make the long trek to Egleton in Rutland, England, where he will fly the Solomon Islands flag at the 2016 Bird Watching Fair.

One of the world’s biggest bird watching events, hundreds of UK and international birding enthusiasts are expected to attend the event.

Brenden’s attendance at the fair builds on the many activities SIVB has undertaken in this key niche tourism product area in the last two years.

This includes a visit last April by Australian bird watching expert, Phil Gregory of Queensland-based Sicklebill Safaris who worked with the SIVB to train a number of handpicked local guides representing tour operators from Honiara, Guadalcanal, Isabel and Makira.

The three-day training sessions revolved around teaching the guides how to properly identify various bird species and their sounds, how to use specialised bird watching equipment and also how to look after the groups of bird watching tourists they will be hosting into the future.

And just two weeks ago, Bird New Zealand magazine editor, Michael Szabo visited as a guest of the SIVB to undertake a 10-day program visiting Guadalcanal, Makira, Rennell and Western Provinces.

Describing the potential bird watching represents as a major opportunity for the Solomon Islands’ tourism future, SIVB CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said Brenden’s visit to the UK Bird Fair represented a further build on the investment the SIVB has made in this key niche area over the last two years.

“Bird watching is huge the world over and birdwatchers will travel anywhere to catch a glimpse of a rare or unusual species,” Mr Tuamoto said.

“With close on 300 species of birds in the Solomon Islands, 102 of which are endemic, we have recognised this niche area as representing a major drawcard for the international bird watching community.”

 

Source: Press Release, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau

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