The seven Eastern European countries that share the Carpathian Mountains have made an important deal to jointly manage the development of sustainable tourism in the region, it has been announced.
Sustainable tourism is of course, fundamentally important to the region, hence the countries willingness to adopt the UN Environment Program and UNWTO-drafted Protocol on Sustainable Tourism, an agreement that calls for a coordinated approach to the development of tourism in the Carpathians.
The Carpathians are one of the largest mountain ranges in Europe and a vital refuge for populations of threatened wildlife such as brown bears, lynx, wolves and eagles. Because of this, this natural haven has become a huge tourist attraction and consequently a vital source of income and employment for people living in the area.
UNEP and UNWTO have long been working with the Carpathian nations – Czech Rep., Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine – to have tourism included in the Carpathian Convention, as they feel it is one of the Carpathian states’ most significant economic activities.
The Protocol on Sustainable Tourism paves the way for the seven countries to coordinate their actions and maximize the benefits that they can receive from sustainable tourism, including the protection of the area’s ecosystem and better standards of living for people who live in the region.
It is also thought that the agreement will lead to important opportunities for the countries to promote themselves internationally through regional cooperation, while the deal will also add benefits to individual Carpathian destinations.
The UNWTO will also continue to assist the Carpathian nations through its Consulting Unit for Tourism and Biodiversity, it says, in order to further develop sustainable tourism in the area.