Discover Dinarics study tour was organized in the beginning of September last year to present best practice bear related tourism products, that follow the guidelines for responsible bear watching and promote coexistence between bears and humans. Simon Collier, Rewilding Europe’s Wildlife Tourism Manager and director of the European Safari Company (ESC), which specializes in unique adventures that directly support nature, wildlife and local cultures across Europe, was invited to join the tour, which stimulated development of new bear friendly tourism products. Slovenia was added as a new destination to ESC portfolio.
The new program takes place in the region of Kočevska, includes parts of the Roška hiking trail with the local guide and guided observation of bears in partnership with the local hunters’ organization. Part of the revenues from the programs sold by ECS will be donated to nature conservation NGO’s working in northern Dinarics, which will actively contribute to bear conservation. Collaboration with larger tour operators is important, as it brings the local experience on the global market and helps to establish better opportunities for revenues, therefore maximizing ecotourism benefits to local communities and nature conservation.