Aivar Ruukel

Founder at


Aivar Ruukel has run a small local nature tourism business since 1992, located in Soomaa National Park of Estonia. He is an enthusiast of sustainable tourism development, social media marketing and digital storytelling. Soomaa National Park received the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) award 2009 in the category “Tourism in Protected Areas”. Since then Aivar has actively participated in the EDEN network. He is a member of the Estonian Ecotourism Network since 1993, one of the initiators of the national ecotourism quality scheme “Estonia – the Natural Way” since 2000, and one of the organizers of the 1st European Ecotourism Conference held in Pärnu, Estonia in 2010.

Aivar shared his views on Tourism and Biodiversity in our recent panel article tackling the question: „How can tourism help combat the global biodiversity crisis? What examples and solutions inspire you?