The Riviera Nayarit, a birdwatcher’s paradise on Mexico’s Pacific coast, participated in Birdfair 2020, the top ornithology tourism fair in the world, held virtually this year for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The British Birdwatching Fair took place from August 18 – 23 on the fair’s virtual portal. The event has been held every year since 1989 in the Rutland Water Nature Reserve, known as “The Wildfowl Bonanza,” in the heart of the UK. To date it has become a showcase for some of the top wildlife experts in the world and is the annual meeting point for professional ornithologists from around the globe.
There were 195 nature and birdwatching exhibitors participating in the virtual edition, as well as over 80 tourism sector businesses, specialized tour operators, and tourism offices from Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and America.
The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau had an important participation with a Destination Seminar, which included a video interview with birdwatching expert James Currie, who has visited the region in three separate occasions to record episodes that were later transmitted on Discovery Channel’s Nikon Birding Adventures TV. The seminar was followed by a presentation given by Polo Sánchez-Valle, the destination’s representative in Europe.
The fair usually welcomes about 23,000 attendees, but since this was a virtual event, the organizers believe they will be able to reach a much broader geographical audience, as well as a less-specialized public. The event content will be available online for three months after the event itself closes and access is free.
In addition to the notable media exposure, the Riviera Nayarit’s representation established contact with tour operators and exhibiting agents during one-on-one meetings with the goal of showing them the destination’s benefits. In addition, the organizers managed to raise £6,757 at an auction during the event to benefit the endemic Helmet Hornbill of Southeast Asia (an endangered bird). During the auction, attendees won prizes offered by the exhibitors. In the case of the Riviera Nayarit, stays were donated by Maraica, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Dreams Villamagna, and Reflect Nuevo Vallarta.
The Riviera Nayarit is home to some of the best birding hotspots in Mexico, especially between the months of October and March. Observation opportunities abound from Sayulita to the San Blas mangroves, including the San Pancho and El Pozo estuaries, and the La Tovara natural reserve. This makes it a very attractive destination for the world’s extensive bird-watching tourist market.
The area around San Blas has up to seven different types of ecosystems. The numerous natural estuaries and coastal mangroves are a tropical home for up to 250 endemic species; however, up to 80% of the bird population during the winter months consists of North American migratory birds.
Other notable places for this activity are Isla del Coral, Isla del Cangrejo, Chacala, La Vejiga Lagoon, El Quelele Lagoon, La Cortada Lagoon, Isla Isabel, the San Cristobal Mangrove Estuary, Islas Marietas, El Pozo Mangrove Estuary, Singayta, Tecuitata, and Zoquipan, which are home to unique bird species such as magpies, herons, gulls, pelicans, frigates, swallows, and, of course, the brown- and blue-footed boobies.
Remember, Mexico’s Pacific Treasure will be here when you’re ready to travel again.
The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB) work together to promote the region with the support of the Government of the State of Nayarit through its Tourism Promotion Trust (Fiprotur).