Kurilla Welcomes Idea of Using UNESCO Brand for Sustainable Tourism

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The historic town of Bardejov is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 4 (TASR) – An international conference entitled Leveraging the UNESCO Brand for Sustainable Tourism Development in Central European Regions, due to take place in Bardejov Spa (Presov region) on Friday (May 5), is an opportunity for Slovakia to make more effective use of sites included in the World Heritage List, stated Environment Ministry State Secretary Norbert Kurilla on Thursday.

Kurilla, who will be among the first speakers at the conference, further pointed out that while the potential of the UNESCO brand hasn’t been fully used in Slovakia, the brand enjoys a significant reputation in other countries and serves as an attraction for tourists. “And our flagship conference in Bardejov is aimed at discussing how to build sustainable economic development on the UNESCO brand and involve local communities in it as well,” he said.

According to the state secretary, the protection of cultural and natural wonders combined with tourism is an opportunity for the least developed regions of Slovakia, as “it can generate jobs and offer attractive economic opportunities,” he said.

The conference, which is organised under the auspices of the Environment Ministry and the town of Bardejov, represents the first step in implementing the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism project in Slovakia, which is the very first country in Central and Eastern Europe region to do so.

In addition to the representatives of central government bodies, UNESCO World Heritage Centre director Mechtild Rossler as well as international experts on sustainable tourism are set to take part in the conference. “Experts from Sweden, Switzerland and Great Britain will present their own experience in developing tourism focused on cultural and natural heritage sites,” Slovak Permanent Delegate to UNESCO in Paris Klara Novotna told TASR.