“Cultural and nature-based experiences are statistically tourism’s two greatest ‘special interest’ strengths - involving substantial visitor volumes and frequent traveling, high spending customers. It pays to strategically acknowledge this. It also pays to understand that the most impactful and value added way of engaging with nature and culture is through forms of ‘experiential tourism’ - discovering it all in far more personal, rewarding & imaginative ways.”
The term 'special interest' tourism can be misleading, because often it is used in the context of visitor interests that in reality are of wider mainstream or major (not minor or specialist) market interest.   For example, cultural and nature-based experiences (which both assume many different forms and encompass multiple niches) are highly significant and complementary market forces in their own right. They are statistically tourism's two greatest strengths and can involve substantial market volumes and frequent traveling, high spending customers. (It pays to strategically acknowledge this.)   By contrast, bird watching is a more accurate description of special interest tourism ... a definable niche with a hard core of enthusiasts making remarkable commitments to visit places in order to observe and 'tick off' particular birds of interest - the rarer the better.   KEY CONSIDERATION: 'Special interest' tourism might also suggest a category of visitors with a single, (special) interest. A rare breed. Most people (even bird watchers) will usually have many interests ... and traveling normally offers a means to enjoy several of these at a time. These simple truths are crucial to effective destination development.                 READ MORE: DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT IMPLICATIONS
Major interest ... not 'special interest' tourism
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