Centralparks workshop in Magura National Park, Poland

On 21-23 June 2021, Centralparks ran a successful workshop in Magura National Park called the “Strategy for the sustainable development of tourism based on the natural and cultural wealth of Magura National Park and its surroundings”. The event took place in Krempna (Poland), and brought together 30 interested participants.

The workshop marked the next phase of the implementation of Centralparks pilot action in Magura National Park. This pilot action is aimed at testing the usefulness of solutions proposed in the draft Strategy for local sustainable tourism development.

Strategy for local sustainable tourism development

The draft Strategy for local sustainable tourism development is based on natural and cultural heritage of the Carpathians. It was elaborated in 2019-2020, under the Centralparks project in support for the implementation of the Protocol on Sustainable Tourism (Bratislava, 2011) to the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Kyiv, 2003) at the local and regional level, accordingly to one of the priorities of the current Polish Presidency of the Convention.

The above strategy is addressed solely to the local level public authorities and stakeholders (e.g. municipalities, protected area administrations, and local Destination Management Organizations). It aims at enhancing the contribution of tourism to the sustainable development of the local economy in the Carpathian region and lowering the impact of tourism on the fragile mountain ecosystems in the most ecologically sensitive areas (part of which is protected in national parks). 

To do this, it redirects and channels part of the tourist traffic to municipalities located in the protected area buffer zones. The draft Centralparks strategy concerning local sustainable tourism development was submitted in June 2021 for the endorsement by the Carpathian Convention.

Pilot sites in Magura National Park buffer zone and its surroundings

Magura National Park constitutes the main tourist attraction of the observed Polish region. It harbours natural areas and cultural heritage monuments that are key to tourism development. For this reason, the park is targeted by the suggested Centralparks pilot action.

Moreover, Magura National Park also invests highly in the development and maintenance of hiking trails, nature paths, cycling and horse-riding routes, along with accompanying infrastructure (e.g. bridges, signposts, rain shelters in rest areas, car parks and bicycle stands, information boards). Furthermore, the park also supports the preservation of the historical and cultural heritage of the general region. It participates in renovation of chapels, roadside crosses and cemeteries, and places interpretation panels in sites of the no longer existing villages).

More on the workshop

The crucial purpose of the Centralparks workshop in the Magura National Park was to unite relevant local stakeholders. Afterwards, it formed an efficient local partnership and prepared a series of 4 thematic workshops. The latter, in turn, were based on the natural and cultural wealth of this national park and its surroundings. 

During the workshop, Magura National Park administration and local communities jointly assessed the current state of tourism development. They have done so in respect to the 7 ‘gateway’ municipalities, that surround the national park. Together, the parties carried out a SWOT analysis as well as identified and inventoried their local assets, including local products and tourist attractions).

The employees of National Park also presented and analyzed data, deriving from the tourist traffic monitoring, which has been carried out since 2005. Furthermore, they also informed the public on the new investments in tourism infrastructure, planned by the national park administration in the coming years (e.g. lookout towers and historical heritage interpretation points).

In the course of the workshop, Mr. Norbert Kieć, Director of Magura National Park, also expressed the readiness of the national park administration to coordinate the implementation of the future joint local strategy. Several other community mayors, on the other hand, likewise expressed the willingness to conclude a partnership agreement with the National Park, concerning the above local initiative.