Volume 13 Issue 5/6 August 2016 Commentary Note

Ľubomír Štrba
Technical University of Košice


Tourism, like many other sectors, is significantly affected by definitions and introductions of new and often specific trends resulting from growing demand and expectations of customers. This development is clearly visible in the last decades. Moreover, current efforts aimed at sustainability and environmental protection often play a key role in development processes. Therefore, many researchers, not only in the field of tourism, consider these factors in their studies.

In this special issue of the e-Review of Tourism Research journal, which includes eight articles, the emphasis is placed on nature-friendly based forms of tourism, like geotourism and mining tourism, ecotourism, nature tourism, viewed from various perspectives.

In the article of Golonka et al., the authors describe the most significant geosites of the Cieszyn Foothills (Poland). This article offers a geologically based understanding of geotourism and geosite identification and characterization. Here, the “geo” part plays a primary role. As the authors conclude, identified geosites, well established in the geological tradition, are important because of their emotional, educational and scientific values. Recognizing and understanding the significance, global growth and popularity of geotourism, Štrba et al. define and, through a selected example, introduce a special form of geotourism – roadside geotourism. In the definition, authors emphasize geo-interpretation geared towards the general public (non-geoscientists) as an effective tool for overall development of this concept.
Labuda et al., in their article, focus on another sustainable tourism form – nature tourism within dark sky parks requesting a high quality of night sky. Based on knowledge and experiences from different areas, the authors present their own idea of a dark sky park in the area of Muranska Planina (Slovakia). Besides the nature-friendly and sustainable concept presented in the study, the authors point out that the establishment of a dark sky park may be helpful within the process of development of another nature-based form of tourism – astro- tourism.

As nature-based forms of tourism, like other tourism forms, often require monitoring of visitors, the article of Molokáč et al. brings an overview of visitor monitoring methods, which are useful within the process of planning and management of the specific tourist areas.
Two papers are devoted to the competitiveness of geotourist destinations. Pavolová et al. present a model of geotourist destination competitiveness evaluation based on selected indicators, whereas, in the article of Tomková et al., authors introduce a strategy of competitiveness support in geotourist destinations based on the example of the High Tatras region (Slovakia).

The importance of mining heritage and historical mining relics located both in- and ex-situ and their possible use in tourism is presented in the article of Rybár et al. Focusing on areas with spread mining relics, authors present the alternative approach of “mass” mining tourism, which would bring benefits for both locals and researchers. In the paper, several aspects of such a tourism product (including project objectives, plan of the project, legal aspects, economic background, organizational aspect, the social aspect, environmental protection and sustainability, visitors’ safety, and development of the project in time) are discussed.

Using cluster analysis in the paper of Puzder et al., the authors compare the situation in the tourism sector in different EU countries. As the authors conclude, “countries from the same region are similar in analyzed indicators”.

Papers of this special issue cover some of the recently discussed topics of special forms of tourism, like geotourism. I believe that these papers will contribute to the global knowledge enhancement in this field. Finally, my sincere thanks go to Dr. Ulrike Gretzel Editor-in-Chief of e-Review of Tourism Research for the opportunity to publish articles in a special issue of this journal.

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