Nine percent of Croatia protected – can tourism help to achieve more?

Nine percent of Croatia protected – can tourism help to achieve more?

Although Croatia has altogether 444 protected areas, including 8 national parks, 2 strict reserves and 11 nature parks. However, they encompassing only 9% of the country. Whether more could be achieved with support of tourism and whether the special form of glamping tourism could exemplify high sustainability standards, benefit rural areas and finally could become an LT&C-Example, was the background of an LT&C workshop convened in Otočac, October 24-25.

The workshop was part of a feasibility study for a potential project developing glamping sites related to different national parks, where LT&C with its diverse competence and expertise among its members, could play an advisory role. Participants from 5 different countries where hosted by Castel Solutions and included, beside LT&C-members, representatives from local NGOs, national parks, the town of Otočac and sustainable products- and business experts. The topics reached from presenting a regional environmental NGO and eco-products, the functioning of the Croatian national parks system, to luxury/high level tourism and examples of glamping: Agenda workshop Croatia2017.

Short visits of the Krka National Park and Plitvice Lakes National Park provided the impression that the parks are not only of high natural and scenic value, but are also of high standard when it comes to the management and education of huge amounts of tourists.

Tourist numbers in Croatia are rapidly increasing and crossed the figure of 15 million, which is about 4 times more than the country’s inhabitants: 170605_TUB-ENG_016. Croatia’s tourism development strategy for 2014 – 2020 therefore has set guidelines and goals for its future development, which define that, along with the dominant tourism product of “sun and sea”, it is necessary to develop other selective forms of tourism that will be in line with sustainable development, especially health, social, rural and cycle tourism.

This is an edited extract from an article originally published by Linking Tourism and Conservation.

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