For development of bear watching tourism in north Dinaric region the cooperation with hunters is crucial, therefore a questionnaire for hunting organizations in the area of permanent brown bear presence in Slovenia, was developed. The aim was to understand if brown bear tourism products have already been marketed and if there is an interest to develop these products in the future.
The results show that hunting organizations are definitely interested in offering bear related tourist products in the future. Moreover, there is no time overlap between bear watching/photography and bear hunt in the summer months, when interest for bear watching products is the highest, while hunting is not allowed. Therefore bear watching and photography have a potential to become an additional service of the hunting clubs in the future.
Conservation of bears and their habitat is the key for long-lasting and successful bear tourism. Carefully developed bear watching can provide economic alternative opportunities for rural communities, while hunters and tour operators involved in bear tourism can positively contribute to conservation of bears.
Photo: Oton Naglost