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Local communities and ecotourism: enhancing economic benefits and sense of place. Case studies from Central and Eastern Europe Dominika Zareba Partnership Fund /// Environmental Partnership Association

Poland and Central & Eastern Europe


Table of content: 1. My story on ecotourism 2. Ecotourism and local communities and new trends in traveling 3. Case studies from Poland and Central and Eastern Europe


My experience and inspiration Lake Atitlan, Guatemala


Environmental Partnership Association Since 1992 / network of 6 independent foundations established by the US founders. Methodology: community-based approach Over 20 years of supporting local environmental initiatives and building civil society in Central Europe.


Ecotourism is about local communities


Ecotourism and local communities 1. Ecotourism brings direct economic benefits for local communities in the rural areas and improves the quality of life (tourist expenditures invested directly in local economy).


Ecotourism and local communities

2. Ecotourism actively strenghtens local identity and sense of place. Ecotourism is about telling stories of a place and its people.


Ecotourism and local communities 3. Ecotourism empowers young people and women, maintaining the social equity.


Ecotourism contributes to maintaining the diversity na authencity of the places around the world...


New trends in traveling


Tourism trends 1). HEALTH – popularity of active forms of leisure. 2). AWARENESS & EDUCATION – demand for specialist offers with cognitive value, associated with art, culture, history. 3). SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – increase of the ecological awareness, lower popularity of the regions that were overinvested in terms of tourism. 4). EXPERIENCE & AUTHENCITY – looking for authenticity, sensations, emotions. 5). LIFESTYLES – products related to hobbies and personal interests, comeback to basics and to nature.

1/3 of tourists in the world


New trends in tourism Consumers are demanding more individual and authentic travel experiences! (ITB 2012/2013/2014/2015)


Ecotourism in Central Europe Organized in rural areas, close to the protected areas (national and landscape parks, nature reserves, Natura 2000 sites) community based tourism

Typical rural tourism based on local agrotourism accommodation, guest houses and local food.


Case studies


Local community initiatives Protected areas, cultural & natural sites Ecotourism projects based on greenways


White Stork Trail North-East Poland Cycling route 412 km long 4 national parks Local municipalities and enterpreneurs Greenways concept


White Stork Trail


White Stork Trail Pentowo on the Narew River – European Stork Village and ecotourism center


Bicycle Land on Amber Trail Lubelskie region Rural region that invested in bicycle and other active tourism infrastructure Leader – Local Action Group “Green Ring” 500 km of trails and routes – guidebooks, maps and mobile applications Ecomuseums, quests and local products


Bicycle Land on Amber Trail Questing – “treasure hunting”


Bicycle Land on Amber Trail Promoting local products


Little Carpathian towns with “atmosphere” Lanckorona – Town of Angels Stary Sącz – on the cross-roads of Central Europe


Stary Sącz – heritage and harmony with landscape


Lanckorona – empowerment of women in local community


Moravian Wine Trails, Czech Republic Moravian Wine Trails in fact had started modern way of wine tourism in Southern Moravia since 2001. The net of cycling paths in total length 1200 km is the largest theme cycling product in Czech Republic. Beside the UNESCO heritage places MWT are the second most popular attraction in wine region.


South Moravia Moravian Wine Trails and the wine tourism

/// 10,000 small vineyards /// 280 municipalities /// 500,000 visitors during the season /// 1200 km of trails


Ecotourism in the Belarussian village

400 farmsteads in the project Support for business activities of local people in ecotourism and rural tourism (information systems, training, marketing) Greenways / eco-museums / thematic villages


Ecotourism in the Belarussian village

/// Very small villages - 50% of villages inhabited by 30-50 people /// Extremely rich cultural traditions – folk culture, music, poetry /// Beautiful wooden architecture and healthy delicious food


Ecotourism in the Belarussian village

“Your culture is your story�, Taleb Rifai, UN Secretary Minsk, Belarus, April 2015


Greenways and local communities Ecotourism helps to fulfill dreams about more sustainable and responsible world.


Thank you!


References Zaręba Dominika, „Ekoturystyka”, Wyd. Naukowe PWN, III wyd., Warszawa 2010. Zaręba Dominika (red.) „Zielone Szlaki Greenways. Praktyczny poradnik” Kamienicka Jolanta, „(Eko)turystyka zielonym rynkiem pracy”, Instytut na Rzecz Ekorozwoju, Warszawa, 1995. Bricker S. Kelly, The International Ecotourism Society, Presentation on „Trends and Issues for Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism”, 2012. Flink A. Charles, „Greenways: Catalyst for Urban Waterfront Development”, presentation, American Center, Praga 2014. Raport z badania krajowego rynku turystycznego. PBS na zlecenie POT, Warszawa 2014. TIES Global Ecotourism Fact Sheet, Washington D.C. 2006. The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics, CREST Center for Responsible Travel, Washington D.C. 2013. Tourism and Environment, Council of Europe, Strasbourg 1997. Tourism Trends for Europe, Commission Europeenne de Tourisme, Bruksela 2004. UNWTO Tourism Hightlights, 2014 Edition. WTO Reserach Programme on Ecotourism generating Markets (summary by Vereczi, G.), 2002. Own research and inteviews with experts. Materials from “Green Ring” Local Action Group and the Bieszczady Environmental Partnership Foundation.


www.environmentalpartnership.org www.ffp.org.pl Drawings: Kazimierz Wiśniak, Iwona Siwek-Front Photos: Dominika Zaręba and Tomasz Ostrowski, Barbara Tekieli, Jarosław Grudziński | dreamstime.com (road), archives of Partnership Fund, Polish and Czech Environmental Partnership Foundations, Pentowo – European Stork Village

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Local communities and ecotourism enhancing economic benefits and sense of place case studies from ce  

Local communities and ecotourism enhancing economic benefits and sense of place case studies from ce  

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