Support for sustainable tourism development in protected areas

Increasing the attractiveness of protected areas for tourism and the effective management of tourist flows is an important component of sustainable tourism and also supports the financial sustainability of parks. To reduce human impact while also providing visitors with unique experiences, we are working on improving navigation, information and recreation infrastructure, especially in the most valuable natural areas.

Improving the signage system and information posts

The main welcome infrastructure is not only important to attract tourists and provide them with important navigation guidance but also to ensure the sustainable flow of tourists and the use of only established routes. In the first stage we focus on the design and production of entrance and first level signs, and general information boards with maps. Such infrastructure should be standardized for all protected areas and be developed according to the brandbook of protected areas in Ukraine. 

The second stage will involve improving the second level of tourism and information infrastructure, which includes information boards and improvements to small building infrastructure in central spots/entrance points.

Improving tourism services  

Carpathian national parks have a huge undiscovered tourism potential: Some of the unique landscapes can be only be found here. National parks lack the infrastructure and stadradized high-quality tourism services needed to make them a top tourist destination. To improve the parks’ recreational activities, a standard tourism service development concept for each park needs to be produced. To do that comprehensively, the requirements for legal and administrative aspects – such as staffing, funding, and services including e-payments – should be established and their implementation must be promoted with the relevant government ministry (or ministries). Along with the concept, relevant parks’ employees need to be trained and supported in the implementation of these new services.

During June-July 2023, FZS experts visited 13 protected areas to determine the spots for the installation of entrance signs. Based on the results of the fieldwork, a map with 63 entrance signs was developed. The signs will be designed according to the protected areas brandbook. It is anticipated that most of the signs will be produced and installed this year (2024). In parallel, we are working on a training program for the employees of the recreation departments, and on improving the tourism infrastructure.

What do we do

By combining international experience with local knowledge and expertise, we support the preservation of the large areas of pristine and near-pristine nature in Ukraine. We mainly do this by supporting projects in major protected areas such as national parks, biosphere reserves, and large nature reserves.