Monday, June 22, 2009

Is birding still under the radar as noteworthy ecotourism?

This article in Florida Today -- "Ecotourism economics: Brevard's natural attraction comes cheap, but it sure boosts the economy" -- cites various ecotourism companies that lure visitors and their disposal income.

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The article doesn't, however, appear to mention the only reason that I'm familiar with Brevard County: the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival. Attendees came from 37 states, and almost 1,180 individuals registered for field trips, workshops, seminars, keynote speeches and kayaking tours.

Each year, the festival organizers prepare an after-event report that focuses on the festival attendees' economic impact. The report states, on page 5:

PRÆCIOIO EFS estimates the impact of SCBWF activities on Brevard County, during the 2009 event, to be $996,679 in sales output, equivalent to the creation of 14.2 full and/or part-time jobs. Additionally, about $386,000 in labor income was generated, and over $104,000 in government tax revenues were accrued.
Not bad for an event that focuses on birds, right?

If you work on a birding festival, do you trumpet its economic impact to local media and government agencies?

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