The assessment tour resulted in draft quality guidelines for environmental education offers of the Protected Areas. Those draft guidelines were discussed and finalized now, together with some implementation tools, in a tourism meeting in Lonjsko Polje Nature Park (Croatia) on September 30th and October 1st.
The integration of several changes from the side of the group and following agreement on the guidelines was the first point on the agenda. Some implementation tools - e.g. a checklist for self-assessment - were tested as well. Before further ideas for implementation of the Quality Guidelines were developed, the group used the opportunity to learn more about sustainable regional tourism development in the Nature Park area.
On the afternoon of the first day a construction site where a house in traditional style is being built was visited. The group was accompanied in this rainy excursion by an architect, a professional on the typical wooden houses. Later on, representatives of the Croatian Ministry for Tourism and regional tourism organizations presented their view on the regions touristic development. All participants could experience the value of the cultural heritage, integrated in the touristic offer, themselves: The accommodation was arranged in small family pensions, with century-old wooden houses and traditional furniture.
On the second day, various ideas for how DANUBEPARKS can support all the single Protected Areas in the implementation of the Quality Guidelines, were developped. Many of those could jointly form a thematic tourism and education follow-up project. In the afternoon, updates and small decisions on other on-going tourism activities were given, before a new format was tried: Three partners had prepared a local challenge, which they presented to the rest of the group in a world café format. All partners were thus involved in the solution-finding to three very different questions - marketing, product development, and maintenance of infrastructure were all tackled. This proved to be a very effective and fruitful form of experience exchange.
Before the day ended, most partners could still participate in a short excursion by bike and boat on the Sava River, to get to know the natural values of the Lonjsko Polje Nature Park and an additional offer for visitors. All in all, two successful workshop days!