Tourism potential of protected landscapes

Protected landscapes are areas with important natural, cultural and historic values. This makes them the perfect place for the development of various forms of tourism based on outdoor recreational activities, traditional gastronomy and healthy and active lifestyle.

Protected landscapes are where nature and culture meet and different types of alternative tourism can be developed in and around them: mountain, rural, gastronomic, adventure, cycling, hiking, cultural, religious, etc. Unlike other protected areas, the aim of protected landscapes is to maintain the relations between people and nature and precisely this is the basis for tourism potential. This also means that in addition to natural values there is also room for development of tourism from various aspects, such as: making hiking and cycling trails, developing a better road network, moderate and sustainable infrastructural development and increasing tourism facilities. Tourism and the potential it has in protected areas can be seen from several aspects:

1. Development and promotion of the protected area

Tourism in itself brings a significant financial income which helps with the sustainability and development of the area. The increase in tourism means more visitors who can promote the area on a national, regional and global level. Increasing the visitor numbers leads to financial benefits that can later lead to financial independence of the management body of the protected area, while greater visibility leads to better opportunities for ensuring support from outside funding sources.

Фотографија: Васил Милјовски

2. Development of the local community

Tourism is closely related to the development of the local community from three aspects: direct employments in the sector on a local level, opportunities for self-employment and general support to the community. Tourism also means better marketing of traditional local products and greater markets. Sector employment could open up opportunities for abandoning old and unsustainable or non-ecological activities and refocusing development on sustainable tourism.

3. Environmental Education

The increased number of visitors to the protected area means greater opportunities to educate the general public about the importance of nature and protected areas. This is a tool that can easily and more effectively spread the message for nature conservation, moderate use of natural resources and sustainable development.

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