Sustainable tourism – my shift to the Caucasus

tct-logo-for-powerpoint

I haven’t written here for a while – no excuses really. Well, maybe a small one: I have been a bit busy, building the first long-distance hiking trail across the Caucasus mountains and looking into sustainable tourism development in Georgia and Armenia. As you do…

Over the last few months my passion for sustainability has remained as strong as ever, and I am still very interested in issues related to “business and sustainability” – the vital role big and small business can plan to tackle the challenges of sustainability, and how it works towards improving its sustainable development performance  (and for the industry it operates in). I am returning to my blog now and will post regularly, but I will stop ranting about the hypocrisy of H&M posing to be sustainable while neglecting human rights in its factories and only increasing unsustainable production and consumption worldwide.

My views on unsustainable fast fashion haven’t changed, but my main interest has shifted from the fashion industry to the tourism industry.

on-top-of-the-world

I have always been a keen hiker and feel complete in the mountains. The Caucasus mountains are one of the most incredible mountains in the word and the Caucasus region is one of the most biologically rich and culturally-diverse regions on Earth, recognized as one of only 35 “biodiversity hotspots” worldwide. I first went to Georgia in 2001 and fell in love straight away with its hospitable and wonderful people, and its natural beauty that is hard to describe.

mount-ushba

When I returned to Georgia again in August 2015, I saw many benefits that the development of tourism has brought to the local people in the mountains. I have also  noticed the negative impact. But what made me shift my focus, energy and free time was the huge opportunity I saw in tourism development in the Caucasus region, provided it is done responsibly. With a small group of hikers and sustainable tourism practitioners, we have embarked on delivering a product – a hiking trail – for the benefit of people and the environment, now and for future generations.

The mission of the TransCaucasian Trail (TCT) we are building is to improve access to the region’s diverse cultural and natural heritage and encourage its preservation, benefiting local communities and trail users through the development of sustainable tourism. And I will do everything I can to make it happen, and will be reporting promptly here in this blog.

 

Check out: TCT website

Facebook:  TCT Facebooktct-logo-for-powerpoint

Twitter: @theTCTtrail

 

 

 

 

About martas2912

I am a sustainable tourism specialist on the Caucasus region. I have been going back and forth to Georgia since 2001 as a traveller, tourism development professional and academic researcher. Now working as a Sustainable Tourism Expert for the World Bank and GIZ projects in Georgia on DMOs, regional and national marketing, and mountain tourism development. More on my blog: oneplanetblog.com and tweet @oneplanetblog
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