Sharing best practice at European Ecotourism Conference in Tbilisi

Sharing best practice at European Ecotourism Conference in Tbilisi

Exactly six months ago a small group of eco/sustainable tourism practitioners, including most of the directors of the Global Ecotourism Network, sat around a small table at the Georgia’s stand at ITB Berlin to discuss organising the 5th European Ecotourism Conference in Tbilisi. The meeting was led by the head of the Georgian Ecotourism Network Natalia Bakhtadze-Englaender, who then carried on leading organising the conference. Several online meetings and Skype calls, hundreds of emails, phone calls and online chats later, and with an enormous amount of work, stamina and determination from Natalia, we are all meeting again in Tbilisi next week.

Sharing best practice at European Ecotourism Conference in Tbilisi

Everyone will be able to participate and get access to all materials and recording from the conference, even if they can’t make it to Tbilisi. More details below.

Sharing best practice

The main objective of this conference is to provide a platform for a range of stakeholders – researchers, academicians, practitioners as well as professionals throughout the continent and beyond – to present their research results and development activities on ecotourism.

The programme is varied but is focusing on the key themes of ecotourism as a tool for economic development and poverty reduction in destinations; ecotourism standards and ecolabelling; digital marketing and storytelling for ecotourism; Protected Areas for economic development; and transboundry trails. Alex Crevar, a journalist for National Geographic, Lonely Planet and New York Times specialising in sustainable tourism will deliver a workshop on ‘teaming with National Geographic for a travel writing workshop series’.

The speakers are the leading ecotourism practitioners and campaigners from all over Europe. The conference will also be attended by the head of GEN Glenn Jampol and other members of GEN’s board of directors. The full programme can be accessed here

First green conference in Georgia

‘EuroEco18 is the first international green conference in Georgia,’ Natalia Bakhtadze-Englaender said. ‘Given that international events can have a negative effect on the environment, the Georgian Ecotourism Association has developed a set of criteria based on GSTC and “Sustainable Event Guide” to reduce unnecessary impact and reduce our footprint, such as reducing the use of paper and providing all conference materials digitally, choosing green venue and catering providers, reusing as much as possible etc.

‘We have also given the opportunity for all socio—economic and environmental projects and organisations to present their work at the conference. There are a few presentations in the programme that will be delivered via Skype for those who could not come to Tbilisi.’

A global conference

Everyone can get involved, even if it is not possible to make it to Tbilisi next week. All conference sessions will be recorded and uploaded online. is an official media partner and you can find more details of how to get involved here.

We will be posting and sharing photos and videos on the conference Facebook page, twitter, Instagram and via with a hashtag #euroeco18

We look forward to joining us in Tbilisi next week, either there or online!

Marta Mills
Marta Mills
Marta Mills is a sustainable tourism specialist who writes regularly for Travindy on tourism development in the Caucasus region. She has worked as Sustainable Tourism expert for several projects in Georgia and Armenia, currently researching community-Protected Areas relationship in Georgia. She was one of the four volunteers who started the Transcaucasian Trail project in 2015, and worked on it till 2018. Her own blog can be found at

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