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Tip #2 Attracting Birders to Your Accommodation Venue - Find The Specials

This is the second article that we are posting to help those in the accommodation and tourism industry better cater to the birding market.

Birding is one of the fastest-growing pastimes in the world, yet many accommodation venues still are not effectively reaching this market. We will keep these posts short, with one tip which you can apply in each article.

If you have any questions, reach out to us for customized guidance on attracting birding guests to your venue.

Last week we spoke about the importance of venues having a bird list available for guests (read the post here); this week, we will go a little bit deeper.

I can remember a few years ago driving around on a game vehicle at a well-known game reserve. We wound our way through the reserve, and the enthusiastic driver was eager to show us the birds that the reserve had to offer. Sadly, his eagerness did not match his understanding of the clientele. He stopped the vehicle with much excitement and showed us a bird that he had found. The engine went off, and we were surrounded by the immersive sounds of the African bushveld. To the left of the vehicle, he pointed out a flock of Little Bee-eaters. He was so excited and told us that these were his favorite birds. Every time he saw a group of this species, the vehicle stopped, and they were again pointed out.

Little Bee-eaters are amazing birds with stunning plumage. The problem is where I live, this is a very common species. I always enjoy seeing them and have too many photos on my laptop hard drive taken of them, but this was not what I traveled three hours to see! This wasn't why I had paid a significant amount of money as a birder to go on a game drive to see.

The reserve had many other specials that we would see during our time there, but we had to endure many moments looking at birds that we saw almost daily where we lived.

It's important to have a list of birds for your venue, but it is just as important to know which are the special species that birding guests would want to see. Some birds can be easily identified as target birds that many birders would want to see, but it goes a little deeper than that.

A birder's life list (a list of species that they have seen as a birder) is also important to get clues as to which species they would want to see. The more birds they have seen in the region may mean that they are looking for a few specific target species to add to their list. When the guest arrives, find out what their life list is and if there are any specific species that they would want to see. Once you have established what they want to see – focus on helping the guest to see these species during their stay. For many birders, their level of satisfaction at the end of a trip will be linked to how many of their target species they managed to see.

Another simple tip is to find out where the guest stays; this would help you to know which birds they see regularly, and this way you can help them see birds that are less common or not found in their area. With overseas visitors, even the common birds may be birds that they want to see.

When your guests first arrive, a simple conversation about what they wish to see will help you to best meet their expectations. Some may want to target specific species, whereas other birders may be happy to enjoy whatever they see.

Tip Number 2 – Find out what your birding guests are hoping to see and do your best to connect your guests with those species.

Get in touch with us if you would like us help to you identify some of the special bird species that may be in your area.

Until next time, Adam


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