1. Estonian ecotourism
Reimann Retked Ltd.
2. Motivators of
• In 1193 Start of bloody Christianization
• 1227 Estonia is officially Christianized, but protest against
Christianity is even strengthens natural connections
• After that Estonia was conquered by Swedes, Danes, Polish and
• 1918 Independence and Independence war 1918-1919
• 1940,1944 Bloody soviet unionization 30 000 men became “forest
brothers”, active battles with Red Army lasted until 1957, last forest
brother was killed in 1978.
• 1971 Establishment of Lahemaa NATIONAL PARK – first national
park in Soviet Union
• 1988 Phosphorite War and Singing Revolution
3. Ecotourism history
• 1910 First nature conservation area in Estonia - Vilsandi
• 1938 Estabilshment of Instute of Nature Conservation
• 1980-ies Well - organized nature tours by authorities
• 1995 First concious ecotourism meetings
• 7.09.1996 Foundation Estonian Ecotourism Association
• 22.-23 1997 International conference "Ecotourism -
Balancing Sustainability and Profitability" in Pärnu
• 2000 Foundation of an Estonian ecotourism label EHE-
Estonia in Natural Way
• 2008 Foundation of Estonian Ecotourism Cluster
4. Development of Estonian
• 2000 short and simple applications
• 2004 meetings with Swedish Natures
Best Labeling system team,
adapting Swedish detailed application form.
• Application forms are too long and detailed,
entrepreneurs are not satisfied with too high
• 2008 Shortened and simplified application forms,
improvement of trainings
• promotion of local development
• supporting preservation of cultural heritage
• supporting preservation of natural heritage
• educating travellers and the public
• Operating with minimal negative natural and
6. Estonian Ecotourism Cluster
• Members have active nature
• They cant have motorized
tourism packages (ATV-s
jetskies) and hunting tourism
• Members have EHE label or
they are on the way to apply it
• Beside of other packages
member has to have hardcore
ecotourism packages or at
least semihard ecotourism
7. Clusters` ecotourism
• Hardcore ecotourism. All non-motorized
events with a guide (not an instructor) where
new knowledge and experiences from local
nature and culture are gained under the
guidance of a competent person (Guided
birdwatching) kayaking, canoeing, biking,
skiing, snow-shoeing, kicksledding etc.
• Semihard ecotourism where new
knowledge is gained about nature-culture
but the main tool is playfulness which might
upset more serious ecotourists. (Bird rally,
bog-bingo, ancient games – competitions)
• Soft ecotourism. Impact on nature and
culture is minimal but the activiteis to
introduce nature and culture are minimal too
(rafting, diving, canoeing and other
tours/rent without a guide)
• Thin line ecotourism. Activities which are
not aimed at gaining new knowledge, which
are not motorized but where a motor is a
significant tool; activities where the impact
on environment depends to a large extent
on how the activities are organised.
(downhill skiing, water skiing)
8. Estonisn ecotourism strenghts
• Estonian IT-lsolutions are on a good level.
. WiFi is often free of charge – this
suprises clients positively. Skype exists.
Good mobile coverage. GPS - GPS-
coordinatesand orienteering via them is
• Euro in 2011. It creates security among
tourists. Usage of euro would benefit
• Good aura and readiness to cooperate,
motivation. Stakeholders in tourism are
• Existance of resources - nature and
naturalness. Many different types together
on a small territory.
• Harmony between nature and culture.
• Good level of foreign language
• Developed infrastructure
Estonians' own attitude to nature is good.
9. Estonian ecotourism
• Transport to Estonia.
• Public transport declines. As capacity
is small it is costly to maintain public transport.
• Regional decline. Panks, postal offices, ships
and gas stations disappear from rura areas.
• The public sector does not know our markets and capacity. Urban
and spa tourism is offered and nature and ecotourism is left aside.
• Estonia as a nature tourism destination is not marketed.
• Labourforce. As the products are seasonal, then there are problems
to hire permanent personell.
• Uneven quality of services.
• Local food is not sufficiently served. The food could be local
Estonian and fresh.
• Signs and maps are not well located in Estonia. The signs are often
only in Estonian.
• Dealing with pure ecotourism is not economically profitable:
10. Priorities of cluster
– Product development/
– Marketing for foreigen
– Labor qualification
and/ year round