Key-note speakers:


Herbert Hamele

Organization: ECOTRANS


Herbert Hamele has been working since 1983 in the field of environmentally sustainable tourism development in Europe. In the 80ies he worked at the “Studienkreis für Tourismus” in Starnberg/Germany and carried out studies and model projects related to e.g. youth travel or German consumers’ demand for environmentally friendly tourism. In 1993 he founded and since then chairs the European network for sustainable tourism development ECOTRANS (www.ecotrans.org ), registered as a not-for-profit association.
His special knowledge and expertise is on the development, monitoring, research, networking and dissemination of voluntary initiatives, tools and best practice examples for environmentally friendly, socially compatible and economically sound tourism, with a special focus on about 100 eco-labels, awards and self committed initiatives in Europe and world wide.
He is manager and lead administrator of the DestiNet portal for sustainable tourism information (www.destinet.eu ), hosted by the European Environment Agency EEA in partnership with UNWTO, UNEP and ECOTRANS. He is board member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and represents ECOTRANS in the Global Sustainable Tourism Partnership (GSTP). As project leader he successfully managed e.g. the European ECOTRANS project FAST-LAIN with focus on “Tourism Innovation – from research to market place” (CIP programme “Knowledge Networks for Competitive and Sustainable European Tourism”).


Andrei Blumer

Organization: Association of Ecotourism in Romania (AER)


Trained both in environmental sciences and leisure, Andrei Blumer has developed his expertise in outdoor recreation, protected areas and local community development through ecotourism.

Born in 1971, in Ploiesti, Romania, he graduated the Civil Engineering University in Bucharest, and holds a MSc. in Environmental Sciences and Policy accredited by the Biology School of Manchester University and MSc. in Leisure and Environment under Wageningen University/The Netherlands and World Leisure and Recreation Association.

He worked as an ecotourism officer in one of the largest conservation project in Central and Eastern Europe: Carpathian Large Carnivore Project (1999 - 2003), assisting local development through ecotourism based on the charismatic species of wolves, bears and lynx in traditional region of the Romanian Carpathians. The ecotourism results of CLCP were selected by the World Tourism Organisation to represent Romania in the World Best Ecotourism Guidebook compiled in 2002.

He is one of the founders and the current president of the Association of Ecotourism in Romania (AER) since 2003. He gained extensive practical experience in the field of ecotourism, assisting for more than 10 years protected areas, small scale businesses in tourism and ecotourism destinations in the region of Carpathians (Romania and Ukraine), Danube region (Danube Protected Area Network) and Black Sea region (Turkey). He has acquired know-how in developing ecotourism certification schemes in Romanian (Eco-Romania ), at the European level (European Ecotourism Labelling Standards - EETLS) and in Botswana (BEST). 

He enjoys nature and outdoor activities and he loves to share his experience with other people either as a photographer or as a guide.


Zoltan Kun

Organization: PAN Parks Foundation


I am not trained about tourism or about organising ecotourism activities. However I have a lot of experience about arranging tourism on a responsible way to Europe’s wilderness areas. I worked for PAN Parks for over 10 years. During these years I tried to transform tourism from a threat into an opportunity to enhance the protection of wilderness across Europe. I believe that ecotourism can be the 21st century nature conservation, because it can help to a) turn visitors into advocates of protection, b) generate extra resources for protection, and c) increase the values of wilderness on a local level!


Dr. Fouli Papageorgiou

Organization: PRISMA Centre for Development Studies


Fouli Papageorgiou, holds a degree in Architecture (Athens-GR) and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Studies (Birmingham-UK).  She is a founding member and President of Euracademy Association and the Managing Director of PRISMA-Centre for Development Studies. Over the past 20 years she has led a large number of local development studies, structure plans and regional plans, mostly in rural areas; and has conducted research in several aspects of rural tourism, including ecotourism and cultural tourism. She has also coordinated over 20 EU projects mostly on rural development, focusing on issues of rural tourism, rural cultural heritage, education and training for rural development and rural policies. She has taught and conducted research in the universities of Aston in Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh and Athens, and has published numerous articles and books, including eight Thematic Guides on various aspects of Sustainable Rural Development. She is the coordinator of the ECOLNET Project and the European Ecotourism Knowledge Network.


Carol Ritchie

Organization: Europarc Federation

As the Director of the EUROPARC Federation, I have overall responsibility for  EUROPARC's Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.

The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas is a unique practical management tool that enables protected areas to develop tourism sustainably.

The aims of all Charter projects and activities are the protection of the natural and cultural heritage and the continuous improvement of tourism in the protected area in terms of the environment, local population and businesses as well as visitors.

Over the last ten years it has become the largest network of protected areas in Europe dedicated to sustainable tourism development. 




Speakers by topic:

Topic 1: Improving the Benefits provided by Certification Programs and Standards

Herbert Hamele Ecotrans DestiNet.eu -  Knowledge Networking Platform for Ecotourism Development in Europe 
Mary Mulvey Ecotourism Ireland Ireland  a  case  study   regarding Ecotourism Ireland Certification Scheme  -  from 2005-2013
Isabelle Trinquelle Prisma Project Eurotour Heritage - A participative approach to create sustainable tourism products 
Fouli Papageorgiou                                          Prisma How businesses and rural communities can benefit by the European Ecotourism Labelling Standard (EETLS)
Aivar Ruukel Estonian Ecotourism Association      Quality Standards as Marketing Tools for Ecotourism : European Case Study


Topic 2: Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Developing Ecotourism Destinations

Lars Soeftestad Supras Limited Stakeholder analysis, an analytical tool in the implementation, management and evaluation of ecotourism activities
Carmen Chasovschi Suceava University Cultural landscape and the sustainable development of eco-destinations
Christian Baumgartner Naturefriends International Ecotourism - more than biodiversity
Andrei Blumer                                                        Association of Ecotourism in Romania Ecotourism Destination: a Concept to be Applied in Europe. Case study: Romania
Doru Frolu Rowmania Danube Delta: the Rowing Paradise


Topic 3: Practical Tools for conservation and local development

Amanda Guzman                                      Ecotono                                            ECOTOURISM IN SPAIN: sustainability, cooperation and innovation
Monia Martini WWF Romania Testing PES: Experience of the Conservation and Sustainable Development Fund in MaramureČ™
Zoltan Kun PAN Parks Foundation Wilderness Tourism in Europe - the PAN Parks Tourism Model
Paulo Castro Europarc Federation  
Erika Stanciu ProPark Foundation  


Topic 4: Product Development Strategies for Better Visitor Experience

Anula Galewska                                                      independent consultant Enhanced travelers experience & economic development of the local communities
Chris Milnes independent consultant Learning from leaders: The Cayuga approach to ecotourism and sustainable destinations
Paul Iacobas Apuseni Experience Show cave tourism in Padurea Craiului, Western Carpathians - a responsible approach towards show cave tourism
Maria Stoian  ANTREC                                                          Increasing the visibility of Neamt area guesthouses by promoting some ecotourism programs
Mugur Pop Daksa Eco-Equestrian Centre Riding in the Carpathians – searching for a lost civilisation



We will keep you updated on the event's Facebook page.