EuroEco 2010 Mart Reimann


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EuroEco 2010 Mart Reimann

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EuroEco 2010 Mart Reimann

  1. 1. Estonian ecotourism experience Mart Reimann Tallinn University Estonian Ecotourism Association Reimann Retked Ltd.
  2. 2. Motivators of Estonians nature- frendlieness • 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 Russians • 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. 3. Ecotourism history • 1910 First nature conservation area in Estonia - Vilsandi • 1938 Estabilshment of Instute of Nature Conservation and Tourism • 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. 4. Development of Estonian ecolabelling system • 2000 short and simple applications forms • 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 bureaucracy. • 2008 Shortened and simplified application forms, improvement of trainings
  5. 5. Ecolabel measures • 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 cultural impact
  6. 6. Estonian Ecotourism Cluster • Members have active nature tourism products • They cant have motorized tourism packages (ATV-s jetskies) and hunting tourism packages • 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 packages
  7. 7. Clusters` ecotourism classification • 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. tours. • 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. 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 easy. • Euro in 2011. It creates security among tourists. Usage of euro would benefit Estonian tourism. • Good aura and readiness to cooperate, motivation. Stakeholders in tourism are enthusiastic. • Existance of resources - nature and naturalness. Many different types together on a small territory. • Harmony between nature and culture. • Good level of foreign language skills (English). • Developed infrastructure Estonians' own attitude to nature is good.
  9. 9. Estonian ecotourism weaknesses • 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.   • Seasonality • 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. 10. Priorities of cluster • Priorities – Product development/ quality – Marketing for foreigen markets – Labor qualification and/ year round involment
  11. 11. Thanks !