A proper wilderness experience in eastern Slovakia

Ecotourism trips provide visitors to the Eastern Carpathians with a wilderness experience while contributing to the protection of local nature.

Ecotourism is an emerging sector in Slovakia.Ecotourism is an emerging sector in Slovakia. (Source: Aevis Foundation/Ondro Kameniar)

The concept of ecotourism has yet to really take off in Slovakia, but some projects can be found around the country.

Aevis Foundation works to restore European wilderness – which has long been disappearing in the Eastern Carpathians - in Slovakia, Ukraine, and Poland. The Foundation is hoping that the Vlčie Hory area will receive greater environmental protection.

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“We have many problems in each of these countries, though,” Aevis’s Tomáš Vida admits in the Spectator College podcast.

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Ecotourism, which involves activities such as watching bison or sleeping in the woods, could partly contribute to stopping the destruction of local nature. A 2013 documentary captures the wild beauty of Vlčie Hory, one of the last major wilderness areas in Europe.

This new subsector of tourism is also slowly developing in Bratislava and the Banská Bystrica Region. People would even be happy paying a fee to enter a national park to help protect nature and support the local economy, according to an Aevis Foundation survey.

“There are lots of nice places around Slovakia. We have nine national parks,” Vida says. However, ecotourism activities are thin on the ground, he adds.

Exam topic: Towns and Places

Other study materials:

Slovak towns struggle towards greater sustainability Read more  Glossary: A proper wilderness experience in eastern Slovakia Read more 

The Spectator College is a programme designed to support the study and teaching of English in Slovakia, as well as to inspire interest in important public issues among young people.

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