monstrate how tourism can contribute as a source of income in peripheral areas, and at the same time promote environmental protection.
4.2 Slovenian coast
The Slovenian coast is situated at the far northern end of the Mediterranean, along the Gulf of Trieste which is the northernmost part of the Adriatic Sea. The Slovenian coast is only 46 km long and is heavily urbanised. The proximity of Trieste and other bigger cities of Northern Italy, Austria and mainland Slovenia makes the area interesting for tourists. They are attracted by the diverse natural beauties (cliffs, marshes, caves, beaches etc.) and rich cultural heritage (historic settlements, salt-pans, traditional food etc)(
Doris and Tanja, 2006).
This area has a well developed tourist infrastructure, which includes dozens of hotels, sports facilities and public beaches. Most of them are in perfect condition. The area has 21.000 tourist beds, most of them in the municipality of Piran. It receives about 400,000 tourists a year(Doris and Tanja, 2006). Besides beach tourism, the focus of Slovenian coastal tourism is placed on conferences, health and casino tourism throughout the whole year. During the last few years, eco-tourism and cultural tourism have become increasingly important. Therefore, tourism development of the coast sprawls outside the city into the natural parts of the coast, into the coastal hinterland developing new tourist attractions which can easily go beyond the carrying capacity of the environment.
In the past decade there were several projects focused on the protection of natural and cultural environments from deterioration through development of eco-tourism and cultural tourism. There were also a number of projects that looked at various aspects of regional development and sought for more integrated and sustainable solutions. With the creation of the new Coastal Area Management Programme (CAMP), the area is going to get an important document for sustainable development of the coastal zone together with its hinterland. Part of the CAMP will also be the strategy for Development of Sustainable Tourism along the Slovenian Coast. The difference of this particular project from similar projects is that the area includes a large part of the hinterland and that the process of preparing the documents anticipates extensive community involvement.
The sustainable tourism concept seemed to offer the right directions for protection and development of sensitive areas with high ecological or cultural value. The initial steps to develop Integrated Regional Development Plan for Coastal Area of Slovenia were concluded in March 2002. In September 2003, a new phase of this process started with the preparation of CAMP which will be concluded by the end of 2005. The project is prepared in the framework of the Barcelona convention and the Mediterranean action plan (UNEP/MAP). It is coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Energy of Slovenia. Financial resources are also contributed by the coastal municipalities.
From this example, the most important result of regional development and heritage protection activities in the coastal area has been the recognition that there is a need for cooperation a