Sustainable tourism – my shift to the Caucasus


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.


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.


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

Sustainable tourism specialist with communications, marketing and stakeholder engagement background, specialising in sustainable destination management and Protected Areas (PA) tourism. Advised and provided training on responsible tourism development for several international organizations in the Caucasus, the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe. Speaker and trainer. Mentor and an Associate Staff member at Leeds Beckett University for the MSc in Responsible Tourism Management course, focussing all academic research on mountain and PA tourism in the Caucasus
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s