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Shawn Lutz

Shawn Lutz

Houston, TX, US

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Extreme Birding

Birdwatching or rather birding, as its proponents prefer presents tremendous untapped potential for the hospitality industry.

The sheer numbers are telling. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in 2007, birding is a hobby for 47.8M Americans and that number is growing, up from 46M in 2003. The U.K., as another example, is known as a country of birders. Birding is appreciated by every culture and ethnicity around the world, can be shared across generations, and can be enjoyed throughout the course of one’s entire life.

Of particular interest to the hospitality industry, there is a strong connection between birding and travel, ranging from honeymoon adventures, to the occasional family holiday, all the way to species or location-specific international tours for the obsessive and the rarity-seeker. Birders who travel tend to be well educated, affluent, and enjoy trying new places.  In particular, U.S. baby boomers, who by 2015 will command 60% of this country’s net wealth, have embraced the hobby with its elements of conservation, continuing education, and travel.

Up until now, hospitality offerings for birders tended to be ad-hoc the local motel, a camping lodge; convenience or adjacency was the prime criteria. We, however, propose to integrate luxury hospitality into the birding experience, creating a methodology that can be adapted for implementation at sites around the globe.

Geographic location and climate dictate the bird species present at various times throughout the year. Typically, a birder has to travel from point A to point B to observe different species. Our strategy is to combine these points to a centralized location.

 
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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Koyuk, Alaska

 

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