Dr. Richard Benfield's Home Page

It all started in 1997 when I was sitting outside Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and noticed large numbers of tourists visiting the garden. I went on a hunt for the data on garden visiting and found … nothing.
Today in the United States, more people visit public gardens (est. 100 million) than visit Disneyland and Disneyworld combined and in a survey just released by VisitBritain, garden visiting by overseas visitors is the third most popular activity ahead of visiting a museum, castle, historic house or art gallery; perhaps not surprisingly Shopping and “Going to a Pub” are more popular than any other activities!
Thus it is surprising that there is a paucity of literature on tourism to gardens and on the importance of flower festivals and events as tourism generators. Hence since1997 I have been collecting data on garden tourism that in 2013 culminated in the publication AND SALE! Of the book below.  …Nah its not the book only an order form!



Jim Charlier, Past-President of the very successful Buffalo Garden Days considers me the preeminent expert on garden tourism. In turn, I tell Jim, I think I am the only person doing garden research so I probably am also the WORST! However I get many invitations to speak on the topic of Garden Tourism and many (well, two people) ask me for a copy of my presentations. When I attempt to email the poor unfortunate person with the power point it is invariably too large (heck whadda yuh expect in a garden show? – lots of pretty pictures and much memory consumption, that’s what).


Most of my presentations take place in the USA but for various organisations. Thus following you will find presntations for APGA (American Public Gardens Association), BGCI (Botanic Gardens Conservation International and individual botanic gardens. Mexico was for BGCI education conference in 2011, Smithsonian to their garden consortium in 2013, Lewis Ginter to the garden managers in 2013 and APGA for the annual conferences in 2013 and 2016.
Mexico Presentation PPT
Mexico Presentation PPTX
APGA Miami: 2016

Heritage Landscapes Winterthur

Lewis Ginter Trends and their Challenges in Gardens today

APGA Scottsdale Az 2013 Tourism and Gardens mix

Smithsonian Presentation


Toronto Trends that may influence Gardens and Garden


Korea Events

Korea and SA data

Suncheon in Korean


Istanbul Presentation


The Garden as the Gateway to the Region


Garden Tourism Around The World

Garden Tourism 2014

South Australia
Western Australia
Arid Lands

BGANZ second iteration

Survey development BGANZ 2015


Canary Islands

New Zealand:

New Zealand Garden Trust Akaroa

New Zealand Events Auckland

Other Presentations:

VCB's and gardens

Tourism and Nurseries Presentation

Results of surveys


The best-selling author Jeffrey Archer says we are all doing what we are second best at. If that be true, then I think what I really need to be doing is research on the worlds large feline species!
Arising out of my time spent in the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies and later in Banff National Park I have always had a fascination with large predators. Once the garden tourism agenda presented itself in the late nineties, I had the opportunity to combine my park experiences, my research into conservation of the world’s flora and finally to investigate some of the world’s large felines in Kyrgyzstan (Snow leopards) and Peru (Jaguars). Much of this comes together in a course I teach on National and World Heritage Parks as well as a graduate course entitled Plants, Predators and Parks.
Following are some of the presentations I have given on snow leopards and Jaguars as well as a seminal article on Mountain Lions by a good friend, Kyle Knopff


The source of all knowledge on snow leopards comes from the Snow Leopard Trust in Seattle Washington. As with Panthera below PLEASE consider giving a generous donation for them to continue their fine work. Here is their home:

Snow Leopard Trust



CT Audubon


Similarly the origin of all jaguar research has to find its way directly or indirectly back to Panthera: