The Good and Bad Face of Avitourism

The Good and Bad Face of Avitourism

Although the benefits of avitourism are plenty, there are also some considerations. The question is whether or not we are prepared to protect our ecosystem.

The Good and Bad Face of Avitourism

The fast growth of bird-watching tourism has created a brand new segment in the eco-tourism industry which is known as avitourism. Naturally, the new trend in the multi-billion tourism market raises questions about the possible effects on the environment. Is the growth of avitourism simply a way to promote sustainable development or the new tourism segment entails some risks? This is a short view of the good and bad face of avitourism.

The value of avitourism

Most people staying at the Agnantio Hotel in Sidirokastro of Serres in Greece book a room so that they travel to the nearby Lake Kerkini for birdwatching. Are they all committed avitourists? No. Over 80,000 people visit the Greek wetland every year and although some of them are hard core birdwatchers, the rest are just enthusiasts or casual bird tourists. They observe birds, take pictures, and leave their money to get shelter, food and drink.

Naturally, avitourism has economic benefits to the local community. With the growth of this segment of ecotourism, more people are informed and get attracted by the idea of avitourism. Environmentalists are given a chance to learn more about the geology, ecosystem, and the bird species of a particular area and hopefully do something about the endangered species. Environmental awareness is promoted and not only do people learn more about birds they had absolutely no idea about but children are taught about the merits of sustaining a friendly environment. That’s the good face of avitourism.

It’s up to us to let bird-watching tourism thrive without considerations

But there’s a fear of ecosystem damage. When the majority of avitourists are still enthusiasts and wetlands such as the Lake Kerkini are not prepared for the increased number of birdwatchers, there is a risk of disrupting the ecosystem. But perhaps we can turn this fear to our advantage. May the growth of avitourism become the waking call to take matters into our hands and create the conditions where the value of bird-watching tourism will thrive without hurting the environment!

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