In a challenging time when COVID-19 has a significant negative impact on the tourism sector, more and more people are turning to nature tours. After the successful completion of the Nature Guide Training in Lithuania in August this year, this became clear at another further training course for nature guides from Lithuania at the end of November – organized by the Curonian Spit National Park Administration (CSNPA) and the Ministry of Economy and Innovation. The three-hour online training course attracted more than 200 interested professional guides from around the country who wanted to gain a deeper knowledge of the nature of Curonian Spit.
Next to speakers of CSNPA, there had been also guest speakers from Ministry of Economy and Innovation and UN World Tourism Organization European Section, who presented the difficult tourism reality in 2020 and expressed hope for 2021. National park‘s administration staff presented their observations and research results in biodiversity, bird species, dune shifting and changes in forestry. Those topics are essential in Curonian Spit nature, and every guide who wants to take nature paths in this national park, has to be aware of them.
The special guest of the course – the famous Lithuanian nature photographer and educator M. Cepulis – presented his view and discoveries in Curonian Spit as a traveller. He emphasized guiding and nature ethics as crucial point in guide’s job avoiding making unintentional harm in sensitive areas.
With rising interest in nature guiding, in 2021 Curonian Spit National Park is opening new hiking routes for small groups and new infrastructure for its visitors, which would take load from overcrowded already well-known routes, and guides are welcome to explore them. During the training, nature guide concept and possibility to join the nature guide network were presented to the audience, so guides could have new ideas for the coming season to restart their work with some new tour concepts and routes.