Podtatrze is a bordering area surrounding the Tatra Mountains, which includes four historical and cultural regions: Podhale, Orava, Liptov and Spiš. This area is also characterized by a long tradition associated with tourism and exploration of the highest mountain range of the Carpathians, which are the Tatra Mountains. However, tourism in this area is primarily based on visiting the most famous and most promoted places, such as Morskie Oko Lake, Kasprowy Wierch Peak, Kościeliska Valley, Giewont Peak, Štrbské pleso lake, Mengusovská Valley, Studenovodské vodopády in the Tatras, Dunajec Gorge, Trzy Korony peak, Sokolica peak in the Pieniny Mountains, Demänovská Valley, Chopok Mountain in the Low Tatras, Suchá Belá valley, Prielom Hornádu valley in the Slovak Paradise; therefore the phenomenon of overtourism is observed there. To prevent this from happening, it was decided to present this region as geotouristically attractive and indicate the possibilities of developing this form of tourism as an alternative to the most crowded places.
The main goal of the project is to inventory and assess the unique forms of abiotic nature in the area as well as to assess the tourist potential of this area and conduct pilot studies on a purposefully selected group of people deciding about the condition and development of the studied region (representatives of local governments, managers of national parks located in the vicinity of the analyzed area, entrepreneurs providing tourist services) over the possibility of tourist use of previously selected geosites.
The added value of this project will be to raise the awareness of tourists and the local community about the responsible use of natural resources and activities for sustainable tourism by involving many social and professional groups, as well as promoting a healthy/sustainable style of tourism based on contact with nature, staying in silence, and not on crowded paths in noise and rubbish.
As part of the project, various projects of tourist products (trails, educational paths, guides and applications) will be prepared and tailored to the needs of various age groups (children, adolescents, adults) based on carefully selected geosites depending on the condition and physical capabilities of the recipients, as well as their perception of the transmitted knowledge.
According to the concept of UNESCO geoparks, Podtatrze is an area with strictly defined borders, where individual abiotic natural objects and landscapes are of international geological importance, which has been proven many times in various scientific articles. Therefore, if this area is skilfully managed in accordance with the holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development, it may be included in the UNESCO World Geoparks List, which will undoubtedly be the most significant added value of this project in the future.