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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO MASS TOURISM DEVELOPMENTS OF BAFRA, NORTH CYPRUS

Abstract
By : Özlem Olgaç T., Özgür Dinçyüre

 
Today, there is a growing tendency towards tourism based economical activities. However, the impact of tourism particularly in the less developed countries can be very destructive in terms of the environment that is also an attraction point for tourists. It is widely acknowledged that tourists prefer to experience the natural environment, the social and cultural life, the historical heritage of the region they are visiting. Hence it is obligatory to answer these needs in a responsive tourism development process. When sustainable tourism is mentioned it includes conservation of natural and architectural environment, as well as the cultural identity while providing economical benefits. In this respect, sustainability of these particular natural, cultural and architectural environments is a crucial issue. The integration of tourism with the local environment and local community is another important factor in successful planning. In light of this discourse, the ongoing tourism developments in Bafra region in the north of Cyprus are standing at a very challenging position for decision makers in terms of balancing the impacts of tourism on these resources. Bafra's coastline is recently becoming a new center for mass tourism by its increasing number of hotels, holiday villages, recreation areas, etc. This study proposes sustainable tourism planning for a unique traditional rural settlement -Bafra Village- which is located in close vicinity of this heart of tourism. The continuity by conversion of existing traditional housing stock of Bafra village for tourism purposes is critically discussed in order to minimize the potential threats of increasing tourism demands. Keywords : Eco-Tourism, Sustainability, Traditional Settlements, Cyprus, Bafra.

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