Globally, the tourism market for birdwatching and photography is growing. Also on the rise is the desire for independent and responsible travel. Increasingly individuals are preferring to go “off the beaten path” and seek out authentic and transformative experiences that give back to communities.
The CBT seeks to attract these markets to the Caribbean and encourage them to explore what is beyond the beach. Integral to this is having well-trained guides on every island that can help connect these travelers with the cultural and natural resources of the island, including birds.
Overview of Program
The CBT is partnering with operators and guides throughout the region to organize one of the most comprehensive guide training and certification programs in the region. The course is facilitated by National Association of Interpretation Certified Interpretive Trainers and participants learn not only to identify the local bird species and their connection to the environment, but also how to effectively communicate information to audiences in a meaningful and enjoyable way.
Objectives of the Training
Our objectives with the Caribbean Birding Trail Interpretive Guide Trainings is to 1) Increase participant knowledge about bird ecology and skills in bird identification; 2) Provide information on birdwatching market and how to develop tours; 3) Teach basic principles of environmental interpretation and its application to ecotourism and conservation; and 4) Discuss the Caribbean Birding Trail and how it can support local communities and contribute to sustainable tourism development.
The CBT Interpretive Guide Training was launched in 2013, offering workshops in:
- 2013: Grenada in St. George’s with local partner Grenada Fund for Conservation (trained 24 participants)
- 2013: Jamaica in Albert Town with local partner Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency (trained 24 participants)
- 2015: Dominican Republic in Constanza with local partner Grupo Jaragua (trained 24 participants)
- 2016: Bonaire in Kralendijk with local partner ECHO Bonaire (trained 25 participants)
- 2017: Cuba in Topes de Collantes with local partner Sociedad Cubana de Zoología (trained 26 participants)
- 2018: St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Ashton, Union Island with local partner Sustainable Grenadines, Inc. (trained 24 participants)
The program will be made available in additional countries as the project continues to develop. If you are interested in participating in a training, or in helping to support the program financially, please contact us at [email protected]. Here’s a downloadable information sheet on the CBT Interpretive Guide Training Program.