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International collaboration to create educational materials for sustainable hunting tourism

The Ruralia Institute is part of a consortium formed of four countries. The main objective of the consortium is to create educational materials for sustainable hunting tourism. The popularity of hunting tourism has increased among hunters in recent years, and increasing numbers of them travel outside the areas they live to hunt. This trend entails both challenges and opportunities. Hunters increasingly require a variety of hunting-related services on their trips, such as guides, comfortable accommodation, and quality camp food. As part of tourism, hunting tourism has risen towards a higher quality product range.

As hunting tourism requires substantial local knowledge, income typically remains in the rural areas. However, hunting tourism is a very conflict-sensitive industry. In particular, developers of the industry require a good understanding of social sustainability to enable hunting activities to be conducted sustainably. The knowledge of hunting and tourism is rarely focused on single operators or persons. Along with a lack of competent hunting guides with language skills, there is often a need for skilled tourism experts to aid in the development of the sector.

The international HUNTOUR project aims to improve the level of expertise and skills in hunting tourism by creating educational materials to promote its ecological, social, and economic sustainability. The project, funded by ERASMUS+, is coordinated by the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague. Alongside the Ruralia Institute at Helsinki University, other participants include the University of Novi Sad in Serbia and the University of Sopron in Hungary. Within the project, the Ruralia Institute serves primarily as an expert on social sustainability and the effectiveness of regional economies. The project started in September 2020 and will run until August 2023.

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