Categorized | National News

Bird-Based Tourism Launched In The Bahamas

The Ministry of Tourism’s, Sustainable Tourism Unit in conjunction with The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and Audubon launched a new product on Monday which they hope will attract bird watchers to the Bahamas.

The Birding Tourism Program under the theme, “Strengthening bird based tourism as a conservation and sustainable development tool”, started a project a few days ago which was hosted by Audubon which allowed persons involved to be educated on bird based tourism as a development tool for The Bahamas.

“We have all over beautiful birds, why not capitalize on that, why not bring them to the Bahamas to enjoy our birds,” said Jacqueline Ramsey, Director for Sustainable tourism. “We are working with Audubon, which is a birding association, and they have the $50 million bird watchers all over the world in the Caribbean and Latin America, so all we have to do is prepare ourselves since we have the market.”

Ms. Lynn Gape, Deputy Executive Director of Bahamas national trust states that there has always been a desire to create a niche market for nature tourism. Currently with 27 national parks in the Bahamas, most of those have been created to protect birds.

“In the mid 90’s then vice president of research, Alaxeander Sprunt, worked with the BNT and the Ministry of Tourism to begin to create a Bahamas a nature tour guiding course,. It was very focused on birds and we did training in the Bahamas. Some of the very first nature tour guides came as a result of that work.”

Audubon approached the BNT about working with them to further bird watching in The Bahamas.

“One of the great things about the funding is that we will focus on Andros and Inagua. Andros has all our endemic birds; Inagua has our fabulous flock of flamingos, one of the largest in the Caribbean. Historically saving the species and populating the islands.

National Audubon Society, Deputy Director of the international alliances program, Matt Jeffrey said that they envisioned being able to create an industry that would help to create an industry which would support local communities and livelihoods.

“We hope to help the BNT and the government protect those areas and get better community engagement at those sites.”

Audubon which is a bird conservation organization, along with the BNT recently hosted a project kick-off aimed to educate all parties involved about bird-based tourism as sustainable development tool here in The Bahamas.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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