Business and Tourism

In Florida, wildlife viewing activities are popular among residents and nonresidents alike. These activities provide significant economic benefits for many individuals and businesses. The wildlife viewing industry is composed of retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and support services grounded in your communities. When considered together, these diverse players constitute a significant industry contributing $5.8 billion to Florida’s economy.

Given that wildlife viewing dollars are often spent in rural areas, the economic contributions of wildlife viewing can be especially important to rural economies.

Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail Satisfaction Survey

 This report assesses “Participation in and opinions on birding in Florida and satisfaction with the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.”  It was conducted April and May 2012. It provides tourism professional with the information necessary to target birding and wildlife viewers.

Economic data

The 2006 economic benefits of wildlife-viewing recreation in Florida External Website

This report assesses economic impact of wildlife viewing expenditures on Florida industries and individuals in 2006. It provides resource managers with the economic information necessary to better conserve and manage wildlife and other natural resources.

1991-2006 Florida and National Survey reports 

2011 Florida Outdoor Recreation Participation Survey

According to the State’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), 49 percent of Floridians (9.3 million) and 47 percent of visitors (39 million) participated in wildlife viewing activities during 2011. Next to going to the beach, wildlife viewing is their favorite leisure time activity.

This study was conducted for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to evaluate Florida residents’ and tourists’ participation in outdoor recreation and their outdoor recreation needs.

"Catch the Wild Tourist" How to get involved?

  • Sponsor a Community Development Workshop: FWC staff will work with you to develop a tailored workshop to meet the needs of your community and organization.
  • Sponsor the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail: Working together with the FWC, develop a sponsorship package that provides your organization with the best return on your investment.
  • Call the FWC at 850-922-0664 to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

Business development

  • Developing Naturally External Website: An Exploratory Process for Nature-Based Community Tourism, Strom Thurmond Center, Clemson University.
  • Establishing a Birding-Related Business External Website: A Resource Guide. Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Texas A&M University.
  • Nature-Based Tourism Enterprises External Website: Strom Thurmond Institute, Clemson University, and the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium – This guide was developed to assist individuals in developing nature-based businesses. Topics include: planning and development, defining your service, start-up costs, administration, operations, creation of an Internet presence and marketing.
  • Nature-Based Tourism and Agritourism Trends External Website: Unlimited Opportunities, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, NRCS, USDA, 2002.
  • Ecotourism in Florida External Website: Letting Nature Work for You, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), University of Florida.


FWC Facts:
Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards.

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