Nature Park Lastovo Islands Turns to Ecotourism

Daniela Rogulj

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Parks of Croatia

Lastovo goes eco. 

A group of foreign experts for ecotourism spent six days in Croatia, first visiting Split, and then onto the Nature Park of the Lastovo Islands last week. The purpose of their visit was to explore the package “Lastovo – Positive Wild”, the first eco-tourist offer of the park created by park employees in cooperation with the local population and WWF World Organization for Nature Protection, reports HRTurizam on October 3, 2017.

On the first day of their visit to Croatia, which was last Monday, experts gathered in Split and first participated in an ecological print workshop on tourism, accompanied by colleagues from National Park Kornati, who also participated in the DestiMED project. The following day the experts remained in Split before traveling to Lastovo in the evening.

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Nature Park Lastovo Islands 

“The goal of tourism that we want to develop is not only for profit but also for the well-being of the local community, the preservation of their identity, culture and tradition, as well as the protection of natural resources. The ecotourist offer must be a departure from mass tourism. Seven experts who spent last week in our park met our nature, and are delighted with our activities, cultural traditions and offerings,” said Bruna Dukovic of the Nature Park Lastovo Islands, adding that some of the experts first chose to dive, while others kayaked the Lastovo coast. 

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Nature Park Lastovo Islands 

“Although we will get the real report later, what we learned by talking to these experts is that our package for them is too intense regarding implemented activities. This information is essential to us because we will adapt this new offer to it,” explains Mosor Prvan from WWF Adria, project leader of DestiMED within which this tourist offer was developed.

The eco-experts spent most of their time with the nature guards and the local community and were accommodated in a camp. They participated in making souvenirs and visited the local winery, but they did complain about too much driving involved and too little cycling.

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Nature Park Lastovo Islands 

“We focused on the quantity – we wanted to experience as much as possible, and that was the wrong decision. We now know that for the future. We are very pleased with the Nature Park, but we realize that the organization of this kind of offer needs a lot more dedication. The fact that 12 local stakeholders involved in this local cluster of ecotourism took part in this offer is confirmation that we are on the right track,” Bruna concluded. 

The second group of experts will arrive in the spring, and they will be welcomed by a “refreshed” tour of Lastovo within the package “Lastovo – Positive Wild”. The new tour will take five days, will not include a tour of Split, and will spend its time better, exploring local customs and making local products.

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Nature Park Lastovo Islands 

This eco-test at Nature Park Lastovo is the first of seven pilot tests that will be held this autumn in the protected areas of six Mediterranean countries covered by the DestiMED project. The project is implemented in Croatia by WWF Adria and is funded by the EU Interreg Mediterranean Program. It is based on the success of MEET (Mediterranean Ecotourism Experience), a non-profit destination management organization that is geared towards further development and promotion of a high-quality portfolio of ecotourism experiences in the protected areas of the region.

Translated from HRTurizam


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