1. Introductory Chapter
Ecotourism is still a new way of tourism and its concept continues to be something that is implemented in many countries. Slovakia should have been one of the leading tourism destinations in Europe with its natural and cultural richness. During socialism, when Slovakia was part of Czechoslovakia, it was the most visited region from all Eastern bloc ‘countries. After fall of regime, Slovakia found itself among the countries which were mostly visited by western tourists, who wanted to see the look of the country which was domination of communists before. Nowadays, Slovakian tourism in general is one of the fastest growing industries in Slovakian economy. “Several types of holiday are now popular in Slovakia. The main direction is the ski resort, what attract an increasing number of tourists, not only from Eastern Europe but also from Britain and neighbouring Austria. On the second place by popularity is wellness tourism. The spa resorts are well known for its healing water and clean air,” according to slowakei-netz.de website. There are “eco” places and programs, and even though they are not built or kept as ecotourism places, they fulfil the criteria of theory of ecotourism. My motivation came from finding not a lot of information about ecotourism in Slovakia generally. The promotion is low and I desire to find out the problem of current promoting situation of ecotourism in SVK. By my research I would like to find out who are the stakeholders involved in ecotourism, how high is the level of their interest and what they could do better to support this new country in ecotourism. This topic is also important for environment, because as describing of ecotourism is defined as "its responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." , Slovakia should have promoted more ecotourism and save its nature for future. I cannot forget what fact affected me to research this problem the most- it’s my citizenship of Slovakia. I would like to help my country to grow in ecotourism area, to get more travellers and incoming money to the country. The countries what been already offered as ecotourism destinations have found they can preserve the environment and the culture while offering a good way of life for their people and also saving the environment before possible damages, Slovakia should be the next. 1.2 Problem Statement
As Slovak travel portal says: ‘’Slovakia is a country of majestic peaks and fertile valleys, large rivers and small torrents. It emanates both a glorious history and the pulse of modern life. The peace of its natural beauty is supplemented by therapeutic springs; the food and wine add a finishing touch to past and present civilization; the gentleness of the countryside is balanced by the bustle of the cities – it is a little big country, ’’ it shows how Slovakia is promoting itself worldwide and that it has a lot of to offer in ecotourism sector. Even the words from quotation sound “eco” and “nature” Slovakia does not promote itself as an ecotouristic country. The country is covered with 40 % of forests, Tatra Mountains, rivers and streams in the mountains which are used as touristic attractions also as National Parks and caves. Slovakia also contains quality mineral springs and spas which are seeking by foreigners visitors. Other beauty what can Slovakia be boast of are the old castles, historical ruins, charges but also cycles rounds and tourists paths. These all could be included in ecotourism programs. Only High Tatras and Aqua Park Poprad are promoted as eco for foreign ecotourism market .
‘’Ecotourism has become an important economic activity in natural areas around the world. It provides opportunities for visitors to experience powerful manifestations of nature and culture and to learn about the importance of biodiversity conservation and local cultures. At the same time, ecotourism generates...
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