Turistička zajednica Zagrebačke županije, kao partner projekta KNOWING, predstavila je inicijative za poticanje održivih turističkih praksi s naglaskom na zaštitu okoliša, društvene i ekonomske čimbenike. Ključne inicijative uključuju očuvanje prirodnih resursa, promociju lokalnih ekoloških proizvoda te implementaciju certifikata i standarda održivog turizma. Snažan naglasak stavlja se na uključivanje lokalne zajednice u procese planiranja i inicijative turizma.
Projekt KNOWING pruža podršku kroz radionice, edukaciju i transfer znanja, s ciljem privlačenja održivog turizma, koji je usmjeren na smanjenje negativnog utjecaja na okoliš i promicanje odgovornih praksi putovanja u Zagrebačkoj županiji.
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The Visit Zagreb County Tourist Board needs to attract sustainable tourism. This requires a thoughtful and strategic approach considering environmental, social, and economic factors. Sustainable tourism aims to minimize the negative impact on the environment and local communities in Zagreb County while promoting responsible travel practices. From our perspective and experience, there are several ways regions can attract sustainable tourism. One of the ways that the Zagreb County Tourist Board implements, especially because it directly contributes to mitigating climate change, is the preservation of natural resources such as heritage, flora, and fauna. Zagreb County Tourist Board achieves this not just by protecting heritage and protected areas, nature reserves, and green spaces to showcase the region’s biodiversity but also through dedicated actions that limit activities that may harm the environment.
Some of those actions are the development of innovative national, international, and EU projects for the protection and valorization of heritage and the constant promotion of the importance and significance of natural resources and heritage for nature protection, climate mitigation, and sustainable development. Sustainable tourism also lays the foundations for building and promoting local ecological products, which the Zagreb County Tourist Board implements with dedication. For example, the Zagreb County Tourist Board implements actions such as encouraging the use of locally sourced materials and products in construction and services, promoting local crafts, produce, and businesses and developing partnerships with local artisans and businesses to create sustainable souvenirs and products that reflect the region’s culture and values, which became crucial in long-term plans and efforts for attracting sustainable tourism and boosting the economy in Zagreb County.
Additionally, the Zagreb County Tourist Board invests great efforts in implementing certifications and standards. Namely, when it comes to certifications, it is necessary to seek and adhere to recognized sustainable tourism certifications and standards and to communicate the region’s commitment to sustainability through marketing materials and online platforms because this will ultimately help build credibility and attract environmentally conscious tourists.
This is why the Zagreb County Tourist Board started its certification process with Green Destinations, which is the most comprehensive certificate for destinations for sustainable development and management. However, in efforts to attract sustainable tourism, community involvement is of crucial importance. Local communities must be considered as catalysts of sustainable development and responsible tourism, so engaging local communities in the tourism planning process and tourism-related initiatives can ensure not just the rise of quality in their activities but also that their needs and concerns are considered.
For this reason, the Zagreb County Tourist Board continuously implements activities of engaging and involving local communities and stakeholders through constant promotion, communication, and dissemination activities, as well as through implementing research of needs, wants, opinions, and attitudes of tourists, local communities and other key stakeholders. Having all this in mind, the Zagreb County Tourist Board is very fortunate to be a part of an extremely important project KNOWING.
KNOWING project will enable and support the Zagreb County Tourist Board’s attempts to attract sustainable tourism, mainly through workshops, education, and knowledge transfer from KNOWING’s research, development, and innovation results to Zagreb County in climate mitigation and societal transformation. However, these are just some initiatives that can help regions close to large cities attract sustainable tourism. What do you think about this? What have been your experiences in establishing sustainable tourism? Let us know your examples and best practices. We would love to learn and improve together.