Stakeholders workshop on qualitative near-natural Tourism, Austria

An intact natural and cultural landscape are essential precondition for a successful tourism. These assets are also a reason why the Lungau was awarded as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2012.

Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in Lungau, therefore it is necessary to set the course for a high qualitative near-natural tourism. On the 10th of July 2018, the Biosphere Reserve Management and the Ferienregion invited to the CEETO-Workshop in the course of the Interreg Project “Central Europe Eco Tourism”. The workshop was supported by Luca Lietti, external expert from Federparchi and attended by numerous important stakeholders of the Biosphere Reserve and the Tourism Region, like representatives of agriculture, politics, tourism and traffic as well as nature and landscape protection representatives.

Workshop participants

Workshop participants - Photo by Salzburger Lungau UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

In this workshop a first participatory mapping of the a) most precious and valuable areas to preserve and promote; b) most vulnerable areas endangered by tourism pressure and; c) most relevant tourism flows that cross the protected area, took place. In a next step stakeholder where asked to write down the desired newspaper headline of the future in 2028 about the tourism in the Biosphere Reserve. After that, the prepared proposals of the pilot actions were presented, discussed and fixed.

The main goal is to improve the Be.Genuine topic, to raise awareness and to transfer knowledge about the natural and cultural assets of the Biosphere Reserve. Therefore, the Biosphere Reserve Management will organize annual events and guided tours on selected topics for locals and guests. Within these events the locals should have the opportunity to increase their knowledge but also to share it.

Presentation at the workshop

Presentation at the workshop - Photo by Salzburger Lungau UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Furthermore, a training and sensitization programme for the local tourism industry should be developed and an online platform will be established, which will link existing offers on this topic and make them visible. Additionally, a visitor survey within the Be.Genuine partner companies should be undertaken to get more information about the visitors preferences and interests to improve tourism offers and visitor steering actions. 

Finally, a visitor monitoring on the Preber Lake should be implemented and concrete actions to raise awareness should be developed. These actions are not only part of the action plan of the CEETO project but will also be part of the touristic part of the revised Biosphere Reserve Management Plan.