Last week, a delegation of Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C) together with its partner, the Aevis n.o., visited three national parks and one protected landscape area in Slovakia. This was the start of a joint project, supported by the EEA Norway grants under the Active Citizens Fund – Slovakia grant programme. It aims to provide recommendations and lessons learned from other parts of the world on how conditions for ecotourism can be improved so that national parks and tourism businesses benefit.
The first visited was the Poloniny national park and an attached nature reserve. Thereafter we came to the Slovakia Paradise national park, then to the Tatra national park, and finally, we studied also the Poľana mountains protected landscape area. We had the opportunity to met with representatives of the protected area management as well as from tourism businesses and agencies focusing on ecotourism. Major insights into the challenges were collected the national parks are faced with. And ecotourism is just in its infancies and faces several governmental restrictions making it difficult to develop and be of a supportive character to national parks.
The study tour and the way forward was concluded in a joint workshop held in Zvolen, where also other partners of the project, WWF, Pro Nature, the INESS Institute and the Via Iuris NGO, participated.
More information about the nature and progress of the project we will provide soon. Members of LT&C may note already the dates of our Annual General Meeting in 2020: It is planned for the time MAY 20-24 in SLOVAKIA and will be combined with workshops and excursions related to the project.