Ski resort or low impact tourism?

Ski resort or low impact tourism?

As a part of the Carpathian Convention Sustainable Tourism Working Group, European Wilderness Society is supporting sustainable development in the Carpathian region.

Therefore, we are supporting initiative Group Free Svydovets in its effort to protect biodiversity, glacier lakes, old-growth forests and wildlife of the unique  Svydovets massif in Ukrainian Carpathians.

On 16th of March, one of the villages of Rakhiv rayon that would be effected by the ski resort, Yasinya, gathered together with the international group. Ukrainian and foreign scientists and experts, as well as local authorities and inhabitants came together. They measured benefits and disadvantages of the presence of such a ski resort in the area. And they also reviewed similar cases from other countries. Furthermore, they discussed an alternative development of the region, as well as next steps.

Low impact tourism

The Bruno Manser Fond is supporting this development of the low impact tourism, promoted by Free Svydovets. Additionally, Nick Bell from SOS Forest, based in France, also supports alternative regional development based on low impact tourism. And this local business is well developed in his country.

After an extensive campaign of Free Svydovets, many people from different countries became aware of this beautiful area in Carpathians. They would like to visit this area and are interested particularly in low impact tourism. This type of tourism brings benefits to locals. For example, as visitors are staying in local households, consume local food, and using services of local guides.

Green tourism in Ukraine

Several other options of local tourism development, like dark sky or local products manufacturing, were also presented on the event. Green or low impact tourism is also developing in other regions of Ukraine. Statistical data shows that the number of destinations of green tourism is continuously growing.

One of the local tourist guides also confirmed that the low impact tourism has perspective in Svydovets. Furthermore, it is beneficial for those who are ready to work and take an initiative. He experiences the increase of the number of European tourists in the region. Additionally, he is also harvesting forest herbs for tea-making, for which there is a high demand recently.

European Wilderness Society supported Free Svydovets Appeal to the Carpathian Convention Implementation Committee in the end of 2018. At this moment, Ukraine is preparing a report on this issue.

Visit to snowy Svydovets

Many participants of the event also visited the massif Svydovets this time. And this visit confirmed that the area is not suitable for skiing even if it is covered by snow. Slopes are too sharp and the presence of many people can easily cause the avalanche.

This fact confirmed once again that low impact tourism, providing revenues to the locals and less changes in valuable surrounding nature is a better alternatives for huge recreational complex.

We hope with the support of many wilderness advocates and low impact tourism followers that we can save unique area of Svydovets for future generations.

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