Black Sea Sutainable Rural Tourism Program Member Meeting Sponsored by Danone Ukraine

Black Sea Sutainable Rural Tourism Program Member Meeting Sponsored by Danone Ukraine

Black Sea Sutainable Rural Tourism Program Member Meeting Sponsored by Danone Ukraine: Integrated Rural Tourism Program for the Black Sea Region draws members from Ukraine, Turkey and Georgia

June 11, 2015 


Vesselka Consulting ConferenceToday, Vesselka Consulting Ltd., an international advisory firm and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Turkey, announced the first Member’s Meeting of the Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism to be held in the town of Hola Pristan in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine from June 11 through June 14. The event is sponsored by Danone, Ukraine whose Small Family Farm projects in Ukraine help develop small rural farms sustainably.


Members representing destination operators and NGOs together with government officials from Turkey and Ukraine will take part. Hola Pristan is located on a tributary of the Dnipro River a short distance before it empties into an estuary formed with the Lower Bug River on the Black Sea. The wetlands and estuary form an important eco-system for this region of Kherson Oblast and is an ancient trade gateway known as the Amber Road running from the Baltic to Constantinople.


The Member’s Meeting will be an annual event built around year round workshops and experiential exchanges among the membership. The Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program’s goal is to unify qualifying rural communities of the region under a single brand and visual banner reflecting common standards, values and interests regarding sustainable tourism and contributing to the economic, cultural and social developments of participating communities.  


The unifying standards are built around the destination criteria developed by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the membership is committed to assuring that the communities as a whole benefit. Members will see, for the first time, the Program’s dedicated web-portal for destinations and travellers developed by Trainingaid, Hamburg, Germany.


The event is hosted by the Chaika Green Tourism Complex with the support of Vesselka Consulting Ltd., and WWF-Turkey. Vesselka Consulting Ltd. is implementing the Program on behalf of Sustainable Rural Development International Limited in the UK.


“Last year in June, Turkey hosted partners from Ukraine and Georgia for initiating a joint program around a common vision and objectives. This meeting will show tangible outcomes in materializing the Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program, such as the development of sustainability standards and the web portal. We have no doubt that such kind of progress will not only strengthen commitments from existing members for effective functioning of the Program, but also inspire many others around Black Sea, which would lead to a bigger and a stronger scheme in the near future. We hope that sustainable rural tourism connects the communities across the Black Sea for prosperity, peace and a brighter future where humans live in harmony with nature. ” said Sedat Kalem, the Conservation Director of WWF-Turkey. 


Vesselka added, “This event is the first annual meeting for the Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program following two years of community stakeholder studies, planning and stakeholder roundtables. It builds on the success of the major workshop held last year in Kastamonu, Turkey and commits the membership to criteria built on those established by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. We are also very pleased that the members will be the first to see the pilot web-portal developed by Trainingaid from Hamburg, Germany. They will not only have the chance to see how their destinations will be presented to travellers, but we expect their input to make it the best and only regionally integrated portal for sustainable travel upon its launch at the end of July 2015. Finally, we are very pleased that Danone, Ukraine has sponsored this event. Their commitment to social responsibility and their effective Family Farm program in Ukraine produce tangible, sustainable benefits to rural communities” said Richard Shepard, Director of Vesselka Consulting Ltd.


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