Significance of Fırtına Stream Basin and Kaçkar Mountains National Park in Sustainable Tourism
Fırtına Basin and Kaçkar Mountains National Park are located in the Eastern Black Sea part of the Eastern Black Sea Region. Administratively, the whole Fırtına Basin, and a great part of Kaçkar Mountains National Park (83.7 %) area located within Çamlıhemşin, Rize, and the rest of the area (16.3 %) falls within the boundaries of Yusufeli, Artvin and İspir, Erzurum. Fırtına Basin and Kaçkar Mountains National Park, a large part of which is in the basin of the related valley, are one of the most important natural places of Turkey and are known at an international level owing to their wild life, vegetation richness and geomorphological formations they have. On account of these characteristics, the related area has been counted in 200 ecological areas that must be preserved by WWF (World Wild Fund For Nature). In addition, centuries - long high pasture activities in the area and archaeological works add historical and folkloric value to the basin. Therefore, they remain one of the important areas in Sustainable Tourism. They have a potential for such natural recreational activities as mountain tourism, high pasture tourism, thermal tourism, cultural tourism, botanical tourism, rafting, heliksi, camping, photography, mountain cycling, jeep safari, trekking, fishhook, paragliding and observation of birds and wild life. Utilization of the related area with respect to sustainable tourism potential will greatly contribute to the economic devolopment of the region. The reason is that sustainable tourism remains a kind of tourism which protects local, natural, cultural and structural sources, devolops life quality of the people around, provides a high – quality service for the tourists, increases environmental quality of sites and fosters economic devolopment.
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