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Feb 6, 2017

Training the Bird-Watchers at Audubon

Today, the Belize Audubon Society hosted twenty-one tour guides, who successfully completed a first ever advanced level bird watching training program. Bird watching is a growing attraction of the tourism industry and over four hundred thousand visitors to the Jewel in 2016 were birders. The training was funded under the project of Strengthening Bird-based Tourism as a Conservation and Sustainable Development Tool by the Inter-American Development Bank and the National Audubon Society.  Conservation Program Director Dominique Lizama told News Five that the training for the tour guides complements the demands of the birding tourism market.

 

Dominique Lizama

Dominique Lizama, Conservation Program Director, BAS

“The training was actually a result of previous consultations that we held before the project and one of the things that stood out from those consultations was that we didn’t have trained guides for the tourism industry, particularly as it relates to bird tourism. So we held five weeks of training sessions both theory and practical in actually having people who are tour guides already, in just enhancing their skills and knowledge in birding to be ready for the birding tourism market. The statistics from 2016 showed that we had visitation closer to four hundred thousand overnight visitors. And in Belize being a prime destination as a wintering stopover point for birds, Belize is perfect for birders come to Belize during the cold months when birds migrate southward. And if we have our guides that are trained and ready to take on the business, then yes, Belize is ready for this.”

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1 Response for “Training the Bird-Watchers at Audubon”

  1. Dominique Lizama says:

    Thanks for covering this story Channel 5. Just 1 clarification–of the overnight visitors, it’s only about 10% of visitors who come to Belize that do BIRDING so that’s why there is huge potential for growth.

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