This is one of the distinguished and remarkable festivals in Adjarian region when migratory birds inform us of coming of autumn by diversity.
Adjarian region is considered as one of the largest corridors for migration of birds of prey and thus, attracts more and more tourists and scientists interested in this event from various parts of the world on an annual basis. The festival has been held since 2012 and hosts many interested persons from Georgia, as well as from the countries of the Central and Western Europe.
The Black Sea Coast, in particular, surroundings of Batumi, is known with the name of the "Eastern Black Sea Migration Bottleneck", where more than 1 000 000 migratory birds of prey are observed annually. Birdwatching season in Adjara starts from August 16 and continues to October 16 and the International Birdwatching Festivals is held in the first week of September on Birdwatching locations – village Sakhalvasho and village Chaisubani, where special platforms are installed. Chorokhi Delta, Peatlands of Ispani, Mtirala and Kolkheti National Parts are also favorable for birdwatching.
Birdwatching is not just a tourism for the purpose of entertainment and recreation. It was a big educational and scientific importance. Its development raises awareness of local population on environmental issues and increases a saving attitude to the nature. As an ecotourism direction, it will contribute to ecologic sustainability, in particular, conservation of endangered bird species etc.
The festival participants go out for birdwatching in various parts of the day. Every evening, local and foreign scientists hold presentations and lectures on Birdwatching and bird species.
Experiential and interactive activities
The event is held with participation of the community – local residents host visitors, participate in culinary offers, competitions, folk performances and it is planned to expand the offers in the future.
This festival is held on various locations and is mainly limited to walking tours in the nature. It is not distinguished in terms of innovations.
Main features and services that attract public
The event is made attractive by the nature of Adjara, where the landscapes of sea and mountain replace each other. Visitors interact with local residents. Visitors staying in Adjara within the framework of the festival for a long time can spend a night in comfortable family hotels located near the platforms and resume their activity in the morning. Paths leading to family hotels, signboards are available in the village. Seminars and introductory events are held for the population on a regular basis.
Key partners and supporters
The festival is organized by Tourism Product Development Agency, The Department of Tourism and Resorts of Adjara Autonomous Republic and the idea of holding this festival belongs to the international environmental organization - BRC (Batumi Raptor Count https://www.batumiraptorcount.org) which actively cooperates with SaBuKo. The festival is funded by the state, on the basis of a tender. Also, there are co-founder donor organizations.
Participants, local community and customer segment
Tourists and groups of scientists interested in this activity from various parts of the world, mainly from the countries of the Central and Western Europe.
Development of birdwatching tourism has already shown opportunities of development of rural tourism (demand on private houses and family hotels), particularly in the regions, where pristine nature is preserved. These are mainly the regions where the level of poverty and unemployment is high.
Communication and dissemination channels
Information about the Birdwatching Festival in Adjara is disseminated via Internet. Participants receive information by recommendation of their friends and colleagues, using sources of the company BRC and blogs of visitor researchers.
Specific elements and features
Managerial and organizational specifics
A tender is announced for this project. The budget is allocated by the state and all expenses are calculated according to the table.
Tourism Product Development Agency provided transportation to excursions and evening seminars in both directions within the framework of the festival (High mobility transport and minibuses serving persons interested in the festival are allocated within the framework of the festival). The access road to Sakhalvasho and Shuamta platforms is marked, tourist signs are placed there. An independently interested person will receive information about the accommodation and public catering facilities located there.
At this stage, there is no infrastructure for persons with disabilities on Sakhalvasho and Chaisubani platforms. However, respective infrastructure is provided for persons with disabilities in Batumi Botanical Garden.
Liaison with other activities and events of the Black Sea Basin region
The festival is held in Adjarian region at the Black Sea Coast. It can be included in tourist routes and events. For example, rural tourism festival "Gandagana" is held on Europe Square in Batumi, on the first Saturday and Sunday of October on an annual basis.
Image Sources: https://visitajara.com/en/blog/Birdwatching_Festival
The festival is held at the Black Sea Coast, in various places of Adjarian region, including village Sakhalvasho, village Chaisubani, Chorokhi Delta, Batumi Botanical Garden and the adjacent area of Mtirala Protected Territory. The most visited place is village Sakhalvasho which is located at the distance of 17 km from Batumi and 19 km from Kobuleti.
The event is held annually. Birdwatching takes place from August 16 to October 16. The festival is held in the first week of September (September 1-7).
Organizer and contact information
Tourism Product Development Agency,
The Department of Tourism and Resorts of Adjara Autonomous Republic,
phone: (+995) 577 90 90 93 / 91