The first group of eco-tourism experts will arrive in Croatia this Saturday to try out the future eco-tourism package of the Lastovo Nature Park. This is the first of seven pilot tests to be held this autumn in protected areas in six Mediterranean countries covered by the DestiMED project, which is being implemented in Croatia by WWF Adria and funded by the EU Interreg Mediterranean Program.The project brings together a network of 13 protected areas that, in collaboration with local communities living in or around these areas, jointly develop eco-standards, eco-tourism offerings and tools to monitor its success. The promotion of people’s lives in accordance with nature and positive traditions is what this project will seek to achieve our protected areas Lastovo Islands Nature Park and Kornati National Park, which will later this year test its program “Adventure of sailing on the Kornati”.The experts will stay on Lastovo for six days, trying out the “Lastovo – positively wild” package. He will spend time with nature conservationists and the local community, housed in a farm, making souvenirs, talking to the last builder of wooden boats and enjoying under the most starry skies with a taste of local specialties. After researching all the spells of the island, he will give his assessment of the quality and sustainability of the package and suggest improvements. The package was designed for the needs of the established project Local cluster in ecotourism with the help of WWF Adria. Experts will also help collect data for an innovative approach to measuring and reducing the impact of tourism on natural resources maintained by protected area communities. This new tool is based on the environmental footprint, and as part of the DestiMED project, it was developed by the IUCN in collaboration with the globally recognized environmental footprint research organization Global Footprint Network.DestiMED is based on the success of the MEET (Mediterranean Ecotourism Experience) network, a non-profit destination management organization, aimed at further developing and promoting a high-quality portfolio of ecotourism experiences in the region’s protected areas. Seven pilot areas to be tested this fall, along with our Kornati and Lastovo, include: Colline Metallifere Mining Park and Torre del Cerrano Marine Park in Italy, Menorca and Terres De L´Ebre Biosphere Reserves in Spain, and Greece’s Samaria National Park.Only with strategic development and sustainable development can we develop quality and long-term tourism.