Natural and cultural heritage as a prerequisite for the sustainability of rural tourism in Gorski kotar


associate prof. dr. sc. Vuk Tvrtko Opačić

Andrea Vukelić, dipl. oec., Lokalna akcijska grupa Gorski kotar


Tamara Batel, graduate student

Mislav Matejak, graduate student

Sandra Mitrović, graduate student

Tomislav Mračić, graduate student

Robert Šulc, graduate student

Nika Jurković, Lokalna akcijska grupa Gorski kotar 

Duration 2017


In order to ensure broad participation and consensus, and to ensure the sustainability of rural development, the participation of all relevant stakeholders is necessary, according to a cooperation project between the Local Action Group Gorski kotar and the Department of Geography at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. entitled "Natural and cultural heritage as a prerequisite for the sustainability of rural tourism in Gorski Kotar." The valorisation of natural and cultural heritage and the definition of objectives, measures and activities, all based on the principles of sustainable development, will contribute to a better and improved use of natural and cultural heritage in the rural development of Gorski Kotar and raise the awareness of the local community for a turnaround in tourism practices.

In the period from 30th of May to 2nd of June 2017, Assoc. dr. sc. Vuk Tvrtko Opačić held field lessons with the students of Graduate Study of Geography, Specialization: research, Branch branch: Heritage and Tourism, in the area of Gorski Kotar. In four days, which included a visit to all important sites in Gorski kotar, the staff of LAG met prof. Opačić and the students with the situation on the ground and made them understand what the LAG Gorski kotar is actually dealing with in order to strengthen the local community and ensure the development of rural areas. The students also got acquainted with the work of the association IEC Processus Montanus, which is one of the partners in the project Frankopan Roads. Representatives of TC Fužine and TC Skrad as well as representatives of NP Risnjak presented their work in the field and answered the students' questions from a structured interview, which is important for the preparation of the brochure. LAG Gorski kotar, as the promoter of the project, printed an informative and educational brochure presenting two new tourist products based on cultural and natural heritage, created by students under the mentorship of prof. Opačića. These are proposals for tourist products: "Roads of the mills of Gorski kotar" and "The noise and rustle of Gorski kotar".

The results of the project "Natural and cultural heritage as a prerequisite for the sustainability of rural tourism in Gorski kotar" undoubtedly suggest that Gorski kotar is rich in real (used) and potential (unused) tourist attractions in the field of natural and cultural heritage. In order to more successfully develop the increasingly demanded specific forms of tourism in Gorski Kotar as a unique mountain area in Croatia, it is necessary to complete the tourist attraction base of this area by integrating several related attractions based on natural and cultural heritage into thematically designed tourist products. and, secondly, through a stronger horizontal and vertical cohesion of all key stakeholders in the development of rural tourism: from local self-government, local tourism associations, key institutions in the field of protection and promotion of natural, especially NP Risnjak, as well as cultural heritage, then owners of accommodation facilities, restaurants and local travel agencies, to the local population. Awareness of the local population about the value of the natural and cultural heritage of Gorski Kotar is a crucial step in the design of new tourist products and their implementation in the tourist offer, which enables the tourist evaluation of the natural and cultural heritage, in addition to the economic (tourist) perhaps even more important aspect - the strengthening of local identity. From an organizational point of view, the key role of the Gorski Kotar LAG in the development of rural tourism is recognized, as a cohesive partner in the cooperation between the public, civil and economic sectors, as well as the need to establish the Gorski Kotar Tourist Board, which should play a central role. destinations.


  1. informativno-edukativna brošura: Vukelić, A. (ur.) (2017): Prirodna i kulturna baština kao preduvjet održivosti ruralnog turizma Gorskoga kotara, Lokalna akcijska grupa Gorski kotar, Lokve.