Tourism in protected areas can significantly facilitate the development of regions that suffer from stagnation and depopulation despite having a rich natural heritage. Examples of such areas include some of our highland regions and certain islands or parts of islands.
The existence of protected areas, natural attractions and rich biodiversity should help to drive local economies based on the principles of sustainable development. Increasingly, today’s holiday-makers are seeking to learn more about the flora and fauna, natural phenomena and scenic landscapes of the protected (and unprotected) areas they visit. Almost all parts of the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar, and Croatia, abound in these tourist attractions which can be visited during all seasons.
Tourism, however, can be a double-edged sword, because in addition to generating economic benefits it can often cause serious problems for eco-systems, particularly in protected areas. That makes it all the more important to put in place and manage a system that combines the sustainable use of natural assets, careful planning, cooperation and the provision of top-quality services with the conservation of nature and the environment.
We are pleased to announce that the Conference on Protected Areas and Sustainable Tourism will be held 22 – 24 October 2018 in Opatija within the frame of the Interreg Project “Central Europe Eco-tourism: tools for nature protection” (CEETO). Under the organization of WWF Adria, the conference will focus on the management of sustainable tourism in protected areas and Natura 2000 sites.
Project CEETO is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund within the Interreg Central Europe programme. The project also involves activities in pilot areas to test tools and methods for managing tourist visitation and to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources in a number of protected and Natura 2000 sites in Austria, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Germany and Slovenia.
Public Institution “Priroda” is one of the participants in the conference. In addition to numerous interesting presentations, a visit to the Visitor Centre and Griffon Vulture Rescue Centre at Beli is also planned. The Beli Centre is an example of good practice of collaboration in informing visitors and the public about the importance of protecting natural assets and in managing tourist visitation.
You can find out more about the Conference here.