Local businessman from Altai Republic shared their «green» tourism secrets with neighboring regions
More than 60 people from Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia, including the republics of Altai, Tuva, Khakasia, Arkhangelsk and Tomsk regions, Krasnoyarsk and Altai regions and Moscow took part in the conference organized in nature park ‘Aya”. Participants discussed the main problems and prospects of development of ecotourism in the Altai-Sayan region as well as knew about the most successful projects within the framework of the program “Sustainable Livelihoods in the Altai'.
The program has been worked in the region since 2011. During this time more than one hundred and twenty people in remote areas of the Altai Republic got micro-grants and micro-loans to organize their own legal business in the field of “green” tourism.
«A few years ago it was hard to explain to local people why they should host gests in their houses. Today almost every second person is involved in tourism: a guest house, guided tours and handicrafts. Thanks to the programme now most of the locals prefer legal income from »green« tourism than illegal from poaching and unsustainable harvesting of nature resources», - said project coordinator of Altai-Sayan WWF’s office Elena Repetunova.
International conference has become the main event of the current phase of the program which aims to share best practices in the Altai «green» tourism. Delegations from other regions of Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan as well as local people were highly rated the results and showed wiliness to implement these initiatives and on their territories. The round table participants were able to share experiences, learn about the most successful projects and ask experts from other regions about tips and tricks.
«We are pleased to see how the project participants who had started their business a few years ago now share their experience with others. We hope that this knowledge and skills will help them to achieve even better results and the programme will have new successful projects», - says manager for corporate and social responsibility of Citi Foundation in Russia Tatyana Avramenko.
One of the outputs of the conference was the Resolution which included the recommendation for the stakeholders in Altai-Sayan region benefit from the experience of projects of WWF and the Citi Foundation in the implementation of programs to support legal sustainable business in rural areas.