Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You can observe a lot just by watching

‘You can observe a lot just by watching!’

Yoga Bera, a famous old baseball player once said, “You can observe a lot just by watching”. If you
have been observing birdwatchers you’ve realized over the last 10 years it has become a billion dollar
industry, according to Tourism Consultants, Bird watching is the second fastest growing outdoor activity
on the planet.
In the past every community had a family with a birdwatcher in it, but they where usually kept in
a closet and never talked about in public, and forget the stereotype of elderly birders wearing white
socks under sandals, eating bag lunches and taking bus rides to national parks.
Baby boomers flooding the hobby tend to fly to faraway ecotourist destinations stay in expensive
hotels and treat themselves to gourmet meals and boat excursions. US Parks and Wildlife reports, 95,000
birdwatchers spent more than 39 million usd in just one state in North America, formally only known for
its agriculture.
Birding is a jackpot for a country savvy enough to see it. US, Canadian and European travel retailers
are busy devising ecotourism vacation packages for upper income vacation travelers.
Birders bring cash to unlikely spots. The smaller villages in Belize need tourist to survive the dynamitic
economic change our country has embraced. Belize Tourism leaders have been savvy enough to market the varied Belizean habitats.
A good example is how the Orange Walk community known primarily in the past for its sugar cane
industry and orange harvests has found new resources in tourism through the new river birding tours to
the rainforest at Lamani.
Crooked Tree Village once only known only for the Cashew nuts it produced now has tourist pass
through spending their money in hotels, restaurants and gift shops, while taking boating tours to see the
many species of waterfoul in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.
Birdwatchers have skyrocked these communities economy. Tour operators in San Pedro (a former poor
fishing village) on Ambergris Caye, market a day trip as an eco-adventure for the aware “birder”.

While visiting Belize along with your days watching of Avian delights you may also observe a wonder of many wonders, the versatile Belizean people who have successfully made the vocational transition into the new economy of their country.