Promoting sustainable tourism in Uzundere through the QualityDestination programme
On 24 and 25 November 2015, ECNC, represented by Ms Ayşegül Çil, held a seminar to promote sustainable nature-based tourism in the Uzundere region, Turkey, through the QualityDestination programme. The seminar was hosted by Atatürk University and supported by Uzundere Governorate and Uzundere Municipality.
The goal of the seminar was to bring together local and regional partners to present, discuss, and exchange knowledge and information about sustainable local economic development. Through various national and international programmes and projects, Uzundere Municipality has already been involved and engaged in sustainable tourism development. The seminar also aimed to establish strong cooperation with the Municipality as a member of the QualityDestination programme and as one of the leading destinations in Turkey promoting natural values in combination with a strong cultural and local identity and a wealth of traditions.
In their opening speeches, Mayor of Uzundere Mr M. Halis Ozsoy and Uzundere District Governor Mr Haci Arslan Uzan expressed their great interest in sustainable solutions and their willingness to be part of the QualityDestination programme to further improve their performance in this field. Keynote speakers included representatives of the North-Eastern Anatolia Development Agency and Erzurum Metropolitan Municipality, who gave insights into current successful initiatives and various projects in the region. Prof. Dr. Faris Karahan, Prof. Dr. Erol Cakmak and Associate Prof. Suleyman Toy of Atatürk University gave presentations on sustainable tourism; best practices; and Uzundere’s international experiences and its nature-based tourism alternatives. Local organizations were represented mainly by women’s groups active in the fields of ecological living, handicrafts, and cultural and local identity.
There were interactive sessions for discussion and exploration of opportunities for reaching overarching goals to balance conservation and development through the QualityDestination programme.
The seminar raised the stakeholders’ awareness of the importance of local engagement for the long-term success of nature-based tourism development in Uzundere and its support to the vision and mission of the QualityDestination programme.
The Mayor of Uzundere closed the event by signing the declaration of commitment to the process leading to the QualityDestination Award.