Tourism Planning in Rural Areas and Organization Possibilities

Tugba Kiper and Gulen Ozdemir

Namik Kemal University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Landscape Architecture, Department of Agricultural Economics

Turkey

1. Introduction

Along with changing life conditions, various orientations have emerged in tourism. Instead of conventional tourism centers, quiet, natural and authentic places are being preferred. However, the economic output provided by this initiative has not been able to reach to the expected level and sustainability due to lack of a planned and rational basis from the beginning. Uncontrolled pressure generated from this might have irreversible impacts on natural and cultural landscapes. Therefore, a rational, practical and preservation-based planning should be implemented in order to ensure a sustainable development in regions where no intense tourism activities exist yet but that have significant potential. At this point, first potential a region has regarding the natural and cultural landscape values should be determined; and then applicable tourism types and their implementation areas should be established. Additionally socio-economic development and change to be generated by probable tourism activities should be analyzed carefully. Moreover opinions of local people regarding this subject must be considered throughout the decision-making process. Here cooperatives and organizations in rural areas step in. Planning decisions, which are made without considering the balance between usage and conservation and provide a temporary solution, would damage authentic sources of a rural area in an irreversible way. Rural areas are settlements which represent reserved areas remained by natural areas and contain a unique rural life culture. Therefore, among tourism types they are not only regions suitable for development of rural tourism, but they are also considered to be spaces of many tourism types which share this environment.

In this study, it is aimed to reveal rural tourism concept and types, analyzing rural tourism possibilities implemented in the world and in Turkey; and to create rural tourism planning and organization models. Within this scope, we focused on rural tourism’s definition, its objectives, the reasons of its emergence and development, its principles, its types, its environmental, social and economic impacts; and on the examination of approaches to tourism at rural areas in Turkey and Europe.

In this section, the subjects below will be discussed.

• Definition of Rural Area

• Definition of Rural Tourism and its types

• Relationship between Rural Tourism and Natural – Cultural Environment

• Rural Tourism-Rural Development relationship

• Rural Tourism Policy in Turkey

• Rural Tourism – Examples of Implementation

• Rural Tourism Organizations

• Conclusion