The article describes the evolution of birdwatching from its origins as a predominantly extractive activity to its current form as a chiefly recreational activity, which is relatively innocuous for the birds themselves and one with high levels of participation, generating significant economic benefits for some countries. The most commonly-used terms in both English and Spanish-speaking contexts related to the recreational and tourist dimensions of birdwatching are identified and analyzed. The characteristics of Cuba’s natural environment and particularly Cuban avifauna are described within the insular Caribbean context. The enclaves with the richest ornithological resources are identified, and the role of the migratory pattern of birds in Cuba is considered in order to identify the optimal time period when the highest number of bird species can be observed in the country. The development stages of this type of tourism are defined as are the associated paradigms and itineraries. Using an analystical approach, the current paradigm has been identified together with the optimum itinerary model that satisfies it. This model has become the standardized itinerary of birdwatching tourism in Cuba and identifies specific target species, the effects on the spatial representation and the total number of observable species. The article concludes by contemplating and describing the impact of birdwatching tourism on the ornithological resources and on the local hosting communities in Cuba.
Salinas Chávez, E., & Cámara García, F. (2016). El turismo de observación de aves en Cuba. Revista Investigaciones Turísticas, (12). https://doi.org/10.14198/inturi2016.12.02