Video interviews with some of the influential figures of birding and avitourism around the world

The Rutland BirdFair is the worlds largest gathering of birders and nature enthusiasts. Every year 25 000 birders and NEs gather for a weekend of inspiration, sharing ideas, doing business, etc. There are more the 400 exhibitors at the fair, with every branch of the birding business and conservation represented. The range is from over 80 countries, to all the major optics brands, key nature conservation organisations, etc. We took the opportunity to make the following 3-8 minute interviews at the Birdfair.

We aimed to get a variety of people interviewed, in order to be able to better portray the wide variety we find in the international birding community. Topics covered range from use of social media like blogging, to preferences in travel, to input on which are the top world birding sites. Of interest is also the variety of approaches taken by different countries on how to brand themselves and how to reach out to potential customers. A rather typical feature is that many countries do not have an official presence at Birdfair, but are rather represented by independent parties or networks of businesses. There are several models which all work differently. 

We wish to extend our gratitude to the 11 people who contributed with their thoughts and and shared their stories in the interviews. We are certain that the following chapter will be inspirational for some and enlightening for others. 

Dominic Mitchell, editor of UK birding magazine 'Birdwatch'

Lynette Buurman, Encounter Kaikoura / New Zealand

Martin Garner, creator of the pioneering Birding Frontiers website and author of several books on bird identification

Chris Wood, Ebird / Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Jonathan Meyrav, tourism director at the Israel Ornithological Centre 

Mike Watson, tour guide at Birdquest and Wild Images

Dale Forbes, Head of Marketing at Swarovski Optik

Nigel Jones, Ornitholidays

Jari Pältomaki, Finnature 

Rochelle Stevens, Environmental Futures Research Institute / Australia

Tim Appleton, Founder of the British Birdfair