Biosphere Reserve Southeast Rügen on its journey to the ECST Sustainable Destination 

March 27th 2018, Lauterbach (Rügen) - local tourism representatives, members of resort administrations and the Authority of the Biosphere Reserve Southeast Rügen met to kick start the re-evaluation of the ECST Sustainable Destination.

In this first workshop, lead by external experts of the “BTE – tourism and leisure consultancy”, the participants were asked to look back at the last seven years of sustainable tourism actions and point out the strength and weaknesses of the previous ECST (European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas) process. From these, opportunities and risks for the re-evaluation and the future action plan were derived. In the second part of the workshop, small groups evaluated the individual sustainable tourism measures. In a final round, these results were shared and discussed amongst all group members.

ECST Workshop Attendants

Attendants of the ECST Workshop in Lauterbach, Rügen.

Overall, approximately 80 percent of measures/actions were fully (or partially) implemented. The remaining 20 percent of measures were analyzed based on their relevance and participants thought that some (e.g. marketing measures to increase the Biospheres visibility) need to be taken up by the new sustainability action plan.

Attendants during the ECST re-evaluation workshop

Attendants during the ECST re-evaluation workshop

With the re-evaluation as ECST Sustainable Destination, the Authority of the Biosphere Reserve Southeast Rügen is starting work on its CEETO Pilot Action. This first and the following workshops (focusing on evaluating the existing sustainability strategy) will help the CEETO project decision makers to pin point a hotspot in the Biosphere Reserve, implement monitoring activities and develop a visitor-flow-management to relieve pressure on the hotspot.

Biosphere Reserve South East Ruegen

Harbour area in the Biosphere Reserve South East Ruegen

In the next two workshops to be carried out in April and Mai 2018, the steering committee of the Biosphere Reserve Southeast Rügen will first evaluate the existing sustainability strategy and second create a new action plan for sustainable tourism for the coming five years. In the last workshop additional stakeholders will be included, to ensure that the developed sustainability measures will address all relevant issues.