The Oriental White Stork (KOUNOTORI) has been reintroduced into its original habitat in Toyooka city, Hyogo prefecture. This species of bird is in danger of extinction in the world, and it is protected and proliferated in this area. It is necessary to create an environment in which the birds and the local people can coexist. In order to obtain the local people's consent of the reintroduction project, it is desirable that the bird-watching tourism brings economic effects. Many tourists visit to the KONOTORI-NO-SATO Park, the shelter and research center of Oriental White Stork. The number of visitors to the park is over 400,000 after releasing those birds into the wild 2004.
The aim of this study is to survey the visitor's attitude to the reintroduction project and the ecological development policy of Toyooka city. The fi ndings are as follows.
1) Many visitors come to the park mainly in order to watch the bird. The park is not one of the other destinations on the way to the famous hot spring resort, Kinosaki Onsen.
2) Almost all visitors know the reintroduction project of the bird before they come to the park.
3) Mass media, for example TV or radio, is important as the information source of visitors. Personal communication is important, too. In contrast, information from the Internet, tourist guidebook or tourist agency is not relatively referred as the information source.
4) Many visitors have a sense of satisfaction from experience only to watch the bird. However there are not so many visitors who want to enrich their knowledge of the bird, the project or the local people's efforts.
5) Many visitors agree to join or support the local activities for the ecological development. In addition, the visitors who got satisfaction from watching the bird strongly tend to agree to join or support the activities.
It is one of the problems for Toyooka's ecological development to create a good relationship between local people and tourists on a reciprocal basis.