On 3rd and 4th of July 2017, a networking workshop was organized by LIFE WOLFALPS project at the Multipurpose Center of Filorera Mountain, in Val Masino, Italy, to discuss different ecotourism initiatives developed by LIFE and other projects.
We have presented the background of the LIFE Lynx project and rationale behind lynx-based tourism action. Within the project we will develop painting holidays to promote conservation of lynx through arts, thematic lynx trails equipped with actual lynx release enclosure and illustrated interpretive signs that present messages about crucial challenges of lynx conservation and guided trans boundary lynx walks that emphasize the importance of trans boundary management of lynx.
These efforts will reach new audiences–from locals, wildlife watching enthusiasts, nature lovers to art-oriented people–facilitating new public dialogue and reaching different target groups who can engage in lynx conservation.
During the workshop we have exchanged experiences gathered so far from different ecotourism actions and events. Main outputs can be summarized by the following points:
– Payment of a fee for ecotourism products organized within a project gives the participant the responsibility and minimizes the risk of last-minute cancellations
– Emotional stimulus within ecotourism initiatives should be strong, e.g., through feeling the presence of large carnivores
– Ecotourism products should be designed in a bottom-up process, in cooperation with stakeholders, such as farmers and hunters
– Products should remain of limited availability to make them unique.