Understanding the Birder as Tourist: Segmenting Visitors to the Texas Hummer /Bird Celebration
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Many rural communities are examining nature tourism options, such as birdwatching (birding), as an economic development strategy. Unfortunately, public media stories, tourism professionals, and biologists often describe birders as a homogeneous group of serious, dedicated, and even fanatical visitors willing to spend large sums of money in their pursuit.Consistent with past research, we contend that birders constitute a hetero-geneous group of recreationists. Using recreational specialization as a conceptual framework, we identified four groups of visitors to a popular birding festival and show that the groups also differ in terms of level of behavioral involvement and setting preferences. Findings from this study will aid community leaders and event organizers in their efforts to target programs, amenities, and promotional materials to distinct segments of the birdwatching population. © 2003 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
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