In the last few years there was a shift in the demands, desires and expectations of the tourism community as a result of the new trends promoting healthy lifestyle, outdoor leisure activities and mountain sports, which made mountain tourism very popular. Mountain tourism refers to a variety of tourist activities in the mountains.
One of the main characteristics of mountain tourism is that it offers possibilities for activities in all four seasons, always offering various options and opportunities throughout the year. The difference between white and cold winters and green warm summer that can be felt in the mountains motivates visitors from urban areas to “escape” winter fogs and unbearable heat and head to the mountains.
Compared to other forms of tourism, in mountain tourism the ecosystem itself, the mountain, determines the dynamic, the form as well as the type of services that can be offered to tourists, so this type of tourism includes: hiking, mountaineering, trail running, kayaking, cycling, skiing and ski sports, walking, paragliding, etc.
There will be no mountain tourism without mountains, which means that they are very closely linked. Real mountain tourism in the 21 century has to be sustainable, but how is this type of tourism linked to conservation of nature and mountain ecosystems?
1.Mountain tourism sustains the local community
Any mountain tourism depends on the human and material resources of the local mountain communities. All finances generated from tourism should end in the community so that it becomes more independent and self-sufficient. In this way tourism protects the mountain by ensuring jobs and businesses that do not depend on direct exploitation, urbanization and destruction of nature.
2. Mountain tourism promotes natural values
All visitors and tourists have the opportunity to get to know first-hand nature, local ecosystems and landscapes. Thus mountain tourism is the best option to experience and enjoy nature and promote real natural values.
3. Mountain tourism is a form of environmental education
The saying goes that the best way to learn something is to experience it and see it directly in nature. So through various mountain activities tourists can learn about nature, the way it changes and how we impact it. With time tourism becomes an important tool in environmental education.
Mountain tourism has a huge potential in the Bregalnica region. Having in mind that 56% of the territory of the Bregalnica region is mountainous and that there are as many as nine mountains, one of them higher than 2000 m, it is clear to see the importance of mountain tourism for this region. In the years to come, the development of mountain tourism would also be an opportunity for better understanding and nature protection.