Volovets foresters learned how to organize rural tourism guesthouse

The workshop, dedicated to the topic of starting your own rural tourism guesthouse took place in Volovets on April 12, 2018 under the project “Skilled foresters = Better forests” with the financial support of USFS IP. The workshop was initiated and hosted by Volovets state forest enterprise.
Trainers of the workshop were Nataliya Voloshyn from NGO FORZA and Oksana Budynska, owner of rural tourist guesthouse “Stavne 158”, which is listed in “100 Best rural tourist guesthouses of Ukraine”. Both trainers are categorization inspectors for the program “Ukrainian Hospitable Guesthouse” of the Union for Promotion of the Green Tourism Development in Ukraine.
The workshop was dedicated first of all to the questions like how to organize own rural tourist guesthouse, clarification of terminology, issues of legal provision of work, definition of the target groups of tourists and their needs, rural tourist guesthouse offer, identification of partnership network etc. Oksana Budynska described in details the approaches she uses in organization of rural guesthouse operation: how to organize the house, how to set up the premises, interior design, setting up the front-yard and backyard, rules of the guesthouse, reception of guests, additional offer of the guesthouse, what is the target audience – provided hints and practical advises on different aspects of work of the guesthouse. Separate topic of presentation was dedicated to the work of the Union for Promotion of the Green Tourism Development in Ukraine, and Oksana described her own experience of cooperation with the Union, particularly in legal assistance and organizational settings of the guesthouse. In this context the group also discussed how important it is to cooperate among the guesthouses and also with the local municipalities, district and regional authorities in order to develop rural tourism in certain area.
Why do foresters are interested in rural tourism? The fact is that Volovets district has a great potential to become recreational area and being a forested area it has rather good possibilities to develop rural and other types of soft tourism based on forest resources and with active involvmenet of local forest enterprises and forest staff. For this, it is very important not only to create tourist offer, but ensure good quality and constant cover of forest and this can be achieved through the close-to-nature silviculture approaches.
Besides the main group of participants from among Volovets foresters, the workshop was attended by Yuriy Derbal, expert on sustainable forest management practices in NGO FORZA, Diana Hryha, senior specialist of the department of culture and tourism of Volovets district administration, Serhiy Hryha, deputy mayor of Volovets town, Valentyn Voloshyn, representative of Regional Tourism Organization, Assosication of Eco-Tourism of Ukraine and Carpathian Sustainable Tourism Center in Ukraine.
Photo report of NGO "FORZA" is at the link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/uRPlSROMZ81gcbqm2
Additionally: “Skilled foresters = better forests” project is implemented in the framework and under the financial support of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service International Programme. GOAL OF THE PROJECT is to (i) increase competences, particularly practical knowledge and skills of forestry practitioners and forestry students in multifunctional close to nature forest management approaches and tools, (ii) establish training environment and develop the watershed condition assessment tool as well as (iii) expand the potential of foresters in forest related environmental education in Carpathian region of Ukraine using USFS experience and expertise.