DATUR Uzungol Tourism Development Project

DATUR is the Eastern Anatolia Tourism Development Project initiated by Efes Beverage Group, part of Anadolu Holding, with the support of United Nations Development Project (UNDP) and Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Carried out between 2003 and 2006, the project aimed at reducing the regional unevenness in the Qoruh Valley in North-Eastern Anatolia by developing community-based tourism as an economic activity that could both be an alternative to agriculture and increase the value added of agricultural sector and at making the local community benefit from the produced income to the utmost. The activities within the scope of the project concentrated on rendering the Qoruh Valley, which has a cultural heritage and natural wealth, an ecotourism destination point in demand by both the domestic and foreign tourists (Anonymous, 2009b). The project team provided consultancy in issues such as organization, legislation forming, and determining an action plan to the 4 non-governmental organizations that were in the establishment stage within the project (Uzundere Sapanca Association, Ispir Sira Konaklar Tourism Association, Ispir Women’s Association, Uzundere Women’s Labor Association).

With the mobility created by the project, 18 new guesthouses went into operation and the local community opened up their houses to foreign tourists as guesthouses in the Qoruh Valley, extending from Uzundere to Ispir to Yusufeli. The local youth and the women actively participated in the tourism sector also thanks to the provided educational training. The foot paths between Uzundere-lspir-Yusufeli-Ayder (Qamlihem§in) were merged to determine trekking tour routes in the form of a spider web and 23 local youngsters were trained as guides specifically.