Inderscience Publishers

Sustainable tourism in the Mala Fatra National Park, the Slovak Republic

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This paper forms a part of the research project investigating the support of the democratic decision-making process and sustainable development at the local level in transition economies. The main focus is on the results of a survey conducted in the Mala Fatra region in the Slovak Republic. It is the first attempt at a complex approach to environmental valuation and decision-making in Slovakia. It focuses on environmental valuation, with special emphasis on non-use values and a combination of complex and interdisciplinary methods (positional analysis, contingent valuation, etc.). The study is based on survey research, in which stakeholder preferences were taken into account in the initial phase of the planning process. Based on the values obtained from the various stakeholders (visitors, residents, local enterprises, municipalities, state administration and others), alternative scenarios of future development were derived. The main task was to show that communication and a democratic approach to the planning process play key roles in efficient decision-making. Secondly, that environmental valuation based on monetary as well as non-monetary interpretation forms a crucial element of a successful planning process, especially when dealing with intrinsic and philanthropic values associated with sustainable development.

Keywords: command and control approach, contingent valuation, decision-making, positional analyses, stakeholder, transition economy, Slovakia, sustainable tourism

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