Despite the rapid growth of avitourism (birding) globally, the
international market potential of avitourism is not fully utilised.
This research endeavoured to develop a multidimensional measure
of avitourist motivation and to investigate the relative importance
of the different dimensions or factors of avitourist motivation.
Based on an in-depth review of the literature, a measure of birder
motivation was developed. The research instrument was evaluated
by a group of birding experts. The instrument was further evaluated
and refined based on primary data gathered from 439 visitors to the
British Birdwatching Fair and the Dutch Vogelfestival. Confirmatory
factor analysis was used to evaluate the dimensionality and fit of
the instrument based on the proposed factorial structure. Finally,
a second-order confirmatory factor analysis model for avitourist
motivation revealed higher-order constructs, namely wellbeing,
intellectual activity, social interaction and photography. The results
suggest that the photography dimension could be excluded as a
motivational factor, and that birders consider aspects of wellbeing
(emotional, spiritual, physical and mental stimulation) as the most
important factors that motivate birding.