of project for making tourism sustainable at the Lake Tisza
The project "Strengthening public participation in
the tourism development of the Lake Tisza region" implemented
with the support of the PHARE Access programme and the Swiss
Foundation for Solidarity Tourism was closed in October.
Tisza Club from Szolnok and Regional Development
Association from Tiszafüred have been our partners in implementing
the programme. Our goal was to show a model for the community
of the Tisza Lake region how they can use their natural resources
as a tourist attraction serving economic and social welfare
purposes, while preserving natural values too. Therefore the
programme focused on both socio-economic and nature conservation
priorities, as tourism development has a significant effect
on local employment and also on the potential Natura 2000
and other protected natural target areas.
An important part of the programme has
been the capacity building of the participating NGOs. So Nimfea
Environment and Nature Conservation Association has shared
its professional knowledge and project leading experiences
with the smaller associations and has helped them to find
new perspectives and partnerships for future projects.
Nimfea Environment and Nature Conservation
Association provided information regularly about the activities
of the programme on its website, and also a dedicated site
has been set up at http://www.nimfea.hu/tiszaturizmus/.
In addition an agreement has been made with the coast guards,
providing them assistance in patrolling in the affected region.
The new motorboat of the association helps to control the
fishermen regularly during the fishing period on the Lake
Tisza with the help of the coast guards.
The programme included practical nature protection
activities of the river Tisza and the lake Tisza. In spring
- at the beginning of the fishing and tourism season – we
cleared away a huge amount of waste with the help of school
groups from the surroundings of the lake.
One of the most important focus area of the programme
has been the promotion of sustainability principles in tourism
development. This activity included several workshops with
lectures and discussions, where local decision-makers, the
representatives of the local tourism board, nature conservation
NGOs and entrepreneurs also participated. These events received
extensive media coverage in the local and regional media,
thanks to the strong partnership with the organization managing
the local television channel.
During the programme three publications have
been compiled and published: a richly illustrated guide-book
to the natural values of the Lake Tisza region, including
educational trails and other proposed routes; a volume of
studies about the agricultural structure and landscape use
patterns of the region, including a local development methodology
and presenting agri-environmental schemes; the third publication
is about the opportunities and threats of tourism development,
presenting sustainable development as a framework for tourism,
discussing the existing definitions of ecotourism and sustainable
tourism, highlighted by several thought-provoking case studies.
A task of outstanding importance during the programme
was giving information to local decision makers, because those
people are the most interested in the preservation of the
local natural and cultural sources, who feel directly the
loss of these sources: that is the local population. We hope
that cooperation and the definition of common goals will promote
the development of this region in the long run. The only way
to avoid social stress and to end conflicts of interests is
the establishment of communication and partnership among all
the stakeholders. Cooperation and wise local policy-making
can be the way towards a sustainable and less vulnerable region
in future. Our programme supports the preservation of the
values of the lake Tisza in order to maintain its beauty and
quiet atmosphere for local people and tourists for a long
time in future.