Economic Benefits with Wolf-friendly Protective Ecotourism Packages and Products
Often the wolf is only seen as an economic damage to animal husbandry and is perceived as a potential threat to Alpine tourism. With this action we aim to transform the wolf into a factor of economic development through the development of eco-tourism proposals and products that protect the environment and improve the coexistence with large carnivores. A well done ecotourism supports the local economy and the work of mountain breeders, improves the knowledge of the wolf, increases the awareness of tourists about the impact of hiking and the behaviour to behave during excursions in areas where the alpine pastures are defended against predators.
The action is organized around six activities:
- Creation of guidelines for responsible wolf-related tourism: a starting point for professionals and visitors.
- Creation and marketing of ecotourism wolf-based packages respectful of local biodiversity and culture. The activities, besides having positive economic effects without disturbing wildlife and improving the knowledge of the species, will be designed in such a way that the participants meet the breeders who correctly implement the attack prevention measures and make their products known. The aim is not to talk only about wolves, their biology and imaginary, but to convey the complexity and fatigue of coexisting with large carnivores.
- Training of guides and tour operators. Workshops are needed to help nature guides correctly understand the limitations described in the guidelines respecting the limitations.
- Coordinated production and marketing of new products made by breeders who effectively implement attack prevention systems. We will create a self-sustaining network of wolf-friendly producers at the Alpine scale. We will upgrade the bear friendly products and, where already existing, the wolf friendly offer with new products promoting coexistence with wolves.
- Art camp in Slovenia: an event capable of attracting a wider audience than wildlife and mountain enthusiasts with an on-site exhibition that will attract visitors, media and local tourists.
- Each of the previous points will include ad hoc communication and promotion activities.
Moreover within this action a Living-Lab is foreseen by Aree Protette delle Alpi Marittime to assess the feasibility of wool recovery and valorisation.