Kurgalsky Nature Reserve is unique protected area in the Eastern Baltic Sea region. It is characterized by highest biodiversity in the region, undisturbed terrestrial, marine and coastal biotope complexes and presence of key sites for a number of protected species. While it plays keystone role for ecosystem of the Gulf of Finland, it has a low status of reserve (‘zakaznik’) of regional importance in Russia. This means the ability of free visiting the territory by tourists. In the recent past the visiting was restricted as Kurgalsky Peninsula is a part of Border Security Zone of Leningrad region, but this restriction was abolished. Attractiveness of the territory, beautiful landscapes and sandy beaches lead to permanent increasing of tourist impact. Unregulated tourism gradually turns to a real scourge of the reserve. Competent management of the tourism requires complete knowledge on tourists’ characteristics and motivations. Such kind of research has never taken place. Within the Barents-Baltic Nature and People Programme the pilot survey was initiated to obtain information on unregulated tourism. As the study was started close to the end of the season the results should be considered as preliminary. Nevertheless it provides essential substratum for the development of management plan for sustainable tourism.
BBNP, Biodiversity and nature conservation, Sustainable development in coastal and marine areas