Can winter tourism be truly sustainable in natural protected areas?
Zbornik Radova: Geografski institut "Jovan Cvijić
Even though legally protected, many areas worldwide are under a certain level of human pressure. Significant for humanity for many reasons, mountain regions are also threatened because of different anthropogenic activities, especially the ones with developed winter tourism. There are four main ski resorts in Serbia (Kopaonik, Zlatibor, Stara Planina and Brezovica) and the strongest environmental impact is registered on Kopaonik Mountain. In this paper, we tried to answer if winter tourism could
... be sustainable in protected areas, especially on Kopaonik Mountain, which is recognized as the largest ski resort in Serbia and a natural protected area of the highest state level-a National Park. The main threats to the environment in Kopaonik National Park are logging, building and construction of ski slopes, urbanization, artificial snow use, illegal and unplanned building. Negative consequences of winter tourism development are land degradation, deforestation, loss and fragmentation of natural habitats, ecosystem disturbances, erosion, soil loss and pollution, water and air pollution, noise and light pollution. Harmonizing tourism development with conservation activities within natural protected areas is one of the main priorities of sustainable use of natural values and resources. For the successful and sustainable development of an area, it is necessary to conduct multidisciplinary planning, based on the results from the relevant scientific disciplines.