August 4, 2010
With more than 1700 species of birds (double the number of species in all the United States); dozens of ecosystems which host different types and varieties of birds and over 20% of its entire territory declared National Protected Areas; Ecuador is one of the most outstanding Tour destinations for Bird Watching travelers….
The demand for tours and specialized programs for “birders” is constantly growing and becoming more popular on the international tourism and travel markets. And Ecuador’s prestige as a top-notch Birding Destination is on the rise… Every year, a higher number of specialized groups and individuals literally “flock” to the country, in search of some of the most amazing hummingbirds, brightly colorful tanagers, rare trogons, the spectacular “cock of the rock”, bright macaws, parakeets, toucans, the awesome harpy eagle of the rainforests or the mighty Andean condor….. And of course, the unique birds of the Galapagos such as the flightless cormorants, Darwin’s finches, Waved albatrosses, flamingos, penguins and more…
Prompted by this reality, the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador has undertaken a special program to consolidate the “Birding” activities in Ecuador by updating the local, regional and national bird inventories; suggesting and programming new Birding Routes and enhancing the facilities and coaching for those immersed on this highly specialized and fascinating tourism segment. These activities will lead to the validation of a National Bird Watching Strategy, aimed at increasing the popularity of Ecuador as a birding destination, attracting more visitors interested on these activities and improving all the aspects of the infrastructure and services for this travel niche.. Ministry officials from all the Regions of Ecuador: the Pacific Coast, the Andean Region, Amazon Region and Galapagos Islands, will conclude this 12th of August an intensive Seminar and Workshop dedicated exclusively to the bird watching travel segment and to the validation of the Activity’s National Strategy and Promotion Plan.
The Strategy is being developed with the support and consultancy of the Mindo Cloud Forest Foundation, a recognized national institution, specialized in Avian Tourism and based precisely on one of the most remarkable Birding heavens which Ecuador has, precisely on the richly bio-diverse cloud forest of Mindo, on the slopes of the western Andes, just one hour and a half from Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. The Promotion Plan to be developed will be technically targeted at upgrading the positioning of Ecuador as a Top bird watching Destination and to produce specialized promotional material, targeted particularly for this important world travel segment.
Meanwhile, the Galapagos National Park Service just opened a new trail, designed mainly to improve the chances of observing birds such as blue-footed and Nazca boobies, red-billed tropic birds, swallow-tailed gulls, frigate birds and pelicans, among other species. The brand new trail is located on the “Lobería” Visitor’s Site in the Island of San Cristobal, and follows an extension of 800 meters, starting from the “Lobería’s beach, along the coast and towards a panoramic cliff-side, a perfect observatory for birds. The trail was designed after a technical study developed by the National Park’s San Cristobal Office. The actual implementation of this trail was made by the National Park’s local staff, with the help of Environmental Management students from the prestigious San Francisco de Quito University, San Cristobal Campus in Galapagos (GAIAS), precisely as part of their training to learn methods and techniques for designing and constructing nature trails on protected areas.
All of these initiatives and the continuous research and development of new tours and programs, permanently conducted by the private tour operators, will certainly bring Ecuador under the spotlight as one of the world’s Best Birding Destinations in the Showcases of the international travel markets….