Nature-Based Tourism:
North Carolina Birding Trail

The North Carolina Birding Trail (NCBT) is the first state-wide effort to link great birding sites with communities, businesses and other historical and educational attractions in North Carolina. The initiative, which started in 2003 and was completed in 2009, consists of three regional trails: the coastal plain, piedmont and mountains. The mission of the NCBT is "to conserve and enhance North Carolina’s bird habitat by promoting sustainable bird watching activities, economic opportunities and conservation education." The trail consists of 310 bird watching sites. The NCBT initiative is a great example of collaboration among six state agencies to develop and promote nature-based tourism. If developed correctly, nature-based tourism can be a useful economic development strategy for communities, as it requires little capital or infrastructure and can capitalize on the natural assets available in a community.

For more information:
North Carolina Birding Trail Website
North Carolina Birding Trail Facebook
NCBT Trail Guide Series, UNC Press
NCBT Birder Friendly Business
and Community Training Program -
Training Synopsis and Resources (612K, PDF)

Please watch the video and listen as Lena Gallitano shares the story of the NCBT’s development and implementation as well as why nature-based tourists, particularly birders, can be a lucrative travel market.

Click the following image to open video player in a new window.

Lena Gallitano

Lena Gallitano is an avid birder. She has been instrumental in creating the North Carolina Birding Trail and the NCBT Trail Guide Series.

NCBT - Mountains Trail Guide NCBT - Piedmont Trail Guide NCBT Coastal Trail Guide