Training on Tourism and Biodiversity


Ensuring a high quality of natural environment in a holiday destination is an increasingly important success factor for most - if not all - types of tourism. Coasts, mountains, rivers, forests and wildlife are major attractions for tourists and every destination relies on natural resources and their related ecosystem services. Moreover, as the awareness of the fragility of the world’s most pristine environments continues to increase, the demand for sustainable tourism products, which can contribute to preserve the environment and to enhance the livelihoods of local communities, is growing. This development requires adapted management approaches which combine the responsible use of ecosystems with adequate protection.

UNWTO’s training courses on tourism and biodiversity aim at building the capacity of governmental staff, the private sector and specialized civil society organizations working on the subject of tourism and biodiversity, fostering institutional building for the wide spreading of knowledge across departmental boundaries and providing a unique platform for knowledge exchange among professionals.

The specific objectives of the project are:

I.     Application and review of the previous lessons learned and best practices in the field of tourism and biodiversity

2.    Increase of capacity and knowledge transfer on the subject and among governmental staff from less developed countries

3.   Dissemination of training course results to UNWTO members

As of July 2013, three successful training sessions have been held with over 60 participants from over 45 countries world-wide. Combining theory with technical visits and practical examples of sustainable tourism development in protected areas, course participants have been able to discuss, share their experiences and learn more about topics such as tourism trends, innovation and products, planning tools and financial instruments with the help from experts from UNWTO, leading NGO's and the scientific and private sector.

In order to share the information and results of this project with a broader audience, an E-learning platform on Tourism and Biodiversity is currently under development.


The first UNWTO training course was held in 2011 at UNWTO headquarters in Madrid, Spain, on the theme “Biodiversity-based Tourism Product Development”. It was a three-day course which involved a visit to Monfragüe National Park.

In 2012 and 2013, following the success of the first Training, UNWTO organized two additional intensive 12-day training courses in two German Biosphere Reserves: Rhön Biosphere Reserve and the Wadden Sea Biosphere Reserve in Schleswig-Holstein. Both courses were held under the theme “Understanding Tourism Trends and Biodiversity Conservation for Innovative Products and Marketing”, with each course focusing on a different core area: mountain tourism and coastal tourism respectively

For more information on the three sessions held, click on the respective training below:

2011: Biodiversity-based Tourism Product Development 2012: Understanding Tourism Trends and Biodiversity Conservation for  Innovative Products and Marketing I 2013: Understanding Tourism Trends and Biodiversity Conservation for  Innovative Products and Marketing II Image Map

Supported with funds from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Buiilding and Nuclear Safety, Germany