Sustainable tourism to create new jobs

Sep 13, 2014

PHOTO: UNDP CROATIA

UNDP's projects presented at the first European Inter-Parliamentary conference on sustainable tourism  

Tourism has great potential for creating new jobs, however, this potential should be used in a way that can bring us economic benefits in a sustainable way, which was pointed out at the first European Inter-Parliamentary conference titled "Challenges of Sustainable Tourism: Promotion of cultural heritage and environmental protection", organized from the 10 -13 September in Zagreb and Losinj. 

Examples of projects undertaken by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Croatia were presented within the conference. These examples include the construction of a replica of falkusa from the Island Vis, reconstruction of a walking trail along the canal of st. Anthony in Šibenik, support to the breeding of autochthonous cattle– Dalmatinska busa, support to the organic vineyards with autochthonous grape varieties to enrich the tourist offers on the family estates in Korčula and others. 

“All of these projects have integrated development based upon cultural, social, economic and natural resources in common. Environmental protection, sustainable management of natural resources and the use of them with the aim of maintaining or creating new and green jobs are basic determinants of our projects,” said Sandra Vlasic, Head of Office of the United Nations Development Programme.

The last UNDP's project, known under the acronym PARCS aims to improve management of the Croatian national and nature parks, and also to improve their infrastructure and offer for the purpose of sustainable tourism. In addition, it is also important for the inclusion of the local population and the development of local communities to engage them in sustainable tourism in protected areas.

Participants agreed that the development of tourism taking into account the needs of tourists and local people, while preserving cultural and natural resources for future generations requires an interdisciplinary approach and integration of different policies. That kind of tourism aims to achieve a balance between ecological, economic and social-cultural aspects of development.

As a country of rich tradition and extraordinary natural resources, Croatia with sustainable tourism can find opportunities to enrich its tourism, create new jobs and boost economic growth. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to connect to and to present existing potential such as organic farming, gastronomy, traditional crafts and the protection of autochthonous breeds etc. in a better way.

The aim of the conference was to improve inter-parliamentary cooperation between EU member states and the countries of the regions through the exchange of experience and information on legislative practices. The conference also highlighted the role of tourism in the development of national economies, the need for continued strengthening of sustainable tourism concepts as well as the affirmation of concrete practices in the responsible usage of cultural heritages and environmental protection as a part of that concept.