Goa Tourism to promote AVI-Tourism in a big way

Panaji, July 22, 2015: Goa Tourism has decided to undertake massive promotion of Goa as a leading destination for Ornithologists and bird lovers from all over the world, given the fact, that the tiny State has an amazing bird diversity boasting of almost 423 bird species which are available in the State. This is expected to give a big boost for eco and hinterland tourism.

Goa Tourism has tied up with the Bird Society of Goa based in Panjim,  which is an autonomous society to promote ornithological interest in the State. As a part of this initiative, Goa Tourism will be supporting the Bird Society with a special grant of Rs.10.00 lakhs for publishing a photographic field guide on ‘Birds of Goa’ authored by Mr. Bikram Grewal and Mr. Savio Fonseca.  The Bird Society will also help GTDC in developing bird trails in the State, and provide information to bird lovers on the GTDC website.

Avi-tourism is expected to attract high-end tourists and bird lovers from all over the world to  it’s bird  hotspots  scattered  across the  State.  Goa is also expected to be prominently featured as a Bird Watchers Paradise on the global map.

Records  have  it  that  Goa has  4 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) identified  by the Global Program of  the  Bombay Natural History  Society along  with  Bird  Life  International – UK namely  Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary,  Cotigao Wildlife  Sanctuary and Carambolim lake, in addition to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.

The move is to include three more IBAs namely Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and Navelim wetlands in Bicholim.

The  Hon’ble Minister for Tourism,  Shri. Dilip Parulekar said, “Goa Tourism has several tourism facets which are  big attractions  for tourists from far and wide.  Avi-tourism  is  one  of the many highlights  that brings  Ornithologists and   bird  lovers to Goa in large  numbers.  We are  very proud to  have one more  feather in the cap that is taking Goa Tourism’s  name to greater heights.  ‘Birds of  Goa’ is  a big achievement in this regard and I appreciate the efforts  taken by the  Bird Society  of  Goa  for scripting and publishing this  Bird Guide.   The strength  of this  book lies  in its  photographs  and  content.  I  am confident  that Bird  Watching  Expeditions  will get more exciting and enlightening.”

“Avi-tourism has attracted attention in recent years as an environmentally-friendly   activity,”said Chairman of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) Mr. Nilesh Cabral.

“Goa also has great potential for avi-tourism tourism than is currently being realized,” he said pointing out to success stories of other countries where bird watching is a potentially lucrative and growing market.

Goa  offers  the  perfect  setting  for  ornithologists  and  bird  watchers which would  include  fanatics for the  highly specialized  ones and   those   who are into it as a hobby.

Many in the mainstream tourism industry in Goa tend to see Avi-tourism as a relatively specialized niche sought after by tourists from the West.

The months  of October  to  February offer a  wide  spectra  of  birds  with  migratory  birds invading Goa’s  wetland hotspots for the  season.

Goa’s avian diversity   which offers  a treat for  bird lovers include  the Frog Mouth  bird,  Blue Eared Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Malabar Grey Horn Bill,   Grey Headed Bulbul, Rufous  Babbler and  the  State  bird –  the Flame Throated Bulbul.

Bird of  Goa’  gives  meaning  to  birds and bird watching  in Goa and is   intended  for  general readers   and ornithologists! The Bird guide will be released in August!

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