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Business and biodiversity :: Ecotourism

The interdependence between tourism and the environment is recognized worldwide. A recent survey by the Industry and Environment Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/IE) shows that the resource most essential for the growth of tourism is the environment.

Tourism has a significant impact upon the physical and social environment, while, at the same time, tourism''s success depends on the continued well-being of the environment. Because the physical and social environment constitutes the resource base for tourism, tourism has a vested interest in conserving and strengthening this resource base. Hence, conserving and strengthening biodiversity can be said to hold the key to tourism''s success.

Tourism that sustains the physical and social environment has come to be known as ecotourism. The precise definition of this term remains ambiguous even within the tourism industry itself. However, ecotourism can be differentiated from traditional tourism in that ecotourism not only attempts to minimize the environmental impact of tourism, but also has as a goal that local communities and the physical environment will actually benefit from tourism. In its ideal form, ecotourism is a philosophy, an activity, a development policy and an environmental policy, all at the same time.

Bulgaria has all the conditions for the development of ecotourism – natural beauties, diversity of the plant and the animal world, rich history and culture. These, in addition to the diverse palette of traditions, cuisine, habits and nature monuments.

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Additional information on biodiversity resources and the role of the national institutions for their management and conservation could be found at BIODIVERSITY IN BULGARIA.

“Guidelines for tourism partnerships and concessions for protected areas:
generating sustainable revenues for conservation and development”

Pan Parks Concept

PAN Parks is a protected area network of parks, which has been established to introduce a marriage between nature conservation and tourism on a European scale. Therefore one of the main aims of the net is to work towards improving the nature protection by sustainable tourism development. PAN Parks aims to provide a reliable trademark which guarantees nature protection and is recognised by all Europeans.

In Bulgaria, in 2003 Central Balkan National Park was awarded PAN Parks certificate, which means that the park covers the required principles, criteria and indicators set by PAN Parks for the territories of the network.

Rila National Park was awarded PAN Parks certificate in 2010.

Ecotourism in Bulgarian national parks

Bulgarian National Parks official websites. Pirin, Rila and Central Balkan are among the largest and most valuable protected areas in Europe. They contain some of Europe’s remaining, extant, wild regions. Identified as Category II protected areas by IUCN, the Parks are managed in accordance with the latest conservation principles and approaches. National Parks allow opportunities for recreation, spiritual enrichment and contact with nature. Tourists can choose from a wide variety of activities.

See also:

Ecotourism in Central Balkan NP

Ecotourism in Rila NP

Ecotorism in Pirin NP


Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds

Nature Conservation Centre Poda Nature Conservation Centre Majarovo NEOPHRON Company for ornithological tourism


Planeta.com is a clearinghouse for practical ecotourism around the globe. As a travel resource center, Planeta.com hosts a variety of online forums and conferences and has published more than 10,000 pages of features and scholarly reports.Planeta.com

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