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1 „Dimensions of sustainability in tourism at the ... - Baltic Green Belt

1 „Dimensions of sustainability in tourism at the ... - Baltic Green Belt

1 „Dimensions of sustainability in tourism at the ... - Baltic Green

Part of: Protocoll „Dimensions of sustainability in tourism at the Green Belt: nature protection, mobility and beyond“ Workshop , March 23 rd , 2011, Riga „Dimensions of sustainability in tourism at the Green Belt: nature protection, mobility and beyond“ Workshop , March 23 rd , 2011, 9 a.m. - 13 p.m., Riga, Latvia - Protocoll - CONTEXT & AIMS The workshop organised by Kiel University in cooperation with Lund University, the Institute for Tourism Research (N.I.T.), Kaliningrad University, the Latvian Assoictaion for Rural Tourism, the Regional Green Belt Coordinator for Central Europe and other partners was meant to generate a common understanding of how sustainable tourism at the Green Belt should be perceived and which goals and standards it should follow. Based on practical examples presented, the participants discussed good and bad practice as well as future options for the development of sustainable tourism with a focus on the area along the former Iron Curtain, nowadays perceived as the European Green Belt. One major topic was tourism mobility, as the workshop was held within the MobEE project initiative (www.balticgreenbelt.uni-kiel.de/mobee, funded by the International Bureau of the German Federal Ministry for Ecuation and Research), which aims to develop low-carbon mobility through cooperation projects in the Baltic Sea Region. PART 1: INTRODUCTION TO SUSTAINABLE TOURISM In the first part, a general introduction was given covering existing definitions of sustainable tourism in the form of aims, guidelines, criteria or indicators formulated on the global to regional level or within a certain type of tourism. The presentation conlcuded that even though attempts to define sustainable tourism are manifold, no generally applicable solution has been formulated yet. One common way to generate a common understanding of sustainable tourism within a certain working group has been to analyse practice examples, which is the approach chosen for this workshop. PART 2: DISCUSSION OF PRACTICE EXAMPLES IN SUSTAINABLE TOURISM In the second part, the discussion was specified and focused on three main aspects of sustainability, namely „nature conservation“, „economical viability“ and „mobility“. Specific examples of tourism related activities were presented by speakers from the Green Belt in Germany (Elbe river plains, Harz Mountains, Thuringian Forest), Russia (Kaliningrad Region) and Austria (National Park Lake Neusiedel/Fertö). The group extracted and discussed examples of good and bad practice from the presentations within the three categories (see table 1). The main conclusions were: Conclusions for nature conservation: In order to minimise the impacts of tourism on nature, the individual capacity of any given area for tourists (number of tourists) has to be assessed and measures have to be taken to regulate tourism (through information, visible protection, no-go areas, no-go times, attractions etc.). Conclusions for economical viability: One of the main goals of nature tourism must be to create a financial backflow from tourism to the people in the region as well as the state, in order for nature to become a viable part of the economical structure of the region. However, the needs of nature must be first priority as nature provides on essential basis also for the economy. Mobility: see part 4 1 Co-financed by:

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