Development of Ecotourism as a Tool for Biodiversity Protection in the Area of Pirin NP

The project: Development of Ecotourism as a Tool for Biodiversity Protection in the Area of Pirin NP was implemented by the Pirin Tourism Forum together with the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and in partnership with the Pirin National Park Directorate and all seven municipalities around the Park: Simitli, Kresna, Stroumyani, Sandanski, Gotse Delchev, Bansko and Razlog. Funding was provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and by all partners.

Project duration: Phase I: year 2006; Phase II: year 2007

Project budget: Phase I: 19400 BGL from SDC and 10000 BGL from the partners; Phase II: 10000 BGL from SDC and.15000 BGL from the partners

Project scope: The activities were focused on one village in each of the adjacent municipalities of Pirin NP:

  • Simitli Municipality – village of Senokos
  • Kresna Municipality – villages Stara Kresna & Oshtava
  • Stromyani Municipality – village of Ilindentsi
  • Sandanski Municipality – village of Lilyanovo
  • Gotse Delchev Municipality – village of Delchevo
  • Bansko Municipality – village of Kremen
  • Razlog Municipality – village of Banya

Project target groups:

  • Present and potential providers of tourist services in the selected villages around Pirin NP: owners of guesthouses, guides, folklore performers, etc..
  • The population of all other adjacent settlements of the Park, who could use the pilot villages as a model for sustainable development


  1. Evaluation of the tourism potential of the pilot villages, i.e. the opportunities for supply of precise services and attractions
  2. Development of one (per village) interpretative ecotourist trail and testing it during the annual celebrations Days of Pirin
  3. Training of the local service providers – accommodation owners and guides
  4. Printing of advertisement materials – leaflets with maps of the developed trails