Revisiting Cifuentes’s Model for Cultural Heritage Tourism in the Era of Pandemics: The Site of Mardin Cultural Landscape Area


Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism, 2023 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/1528008x.2023.2226885
  • Journal Name: Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Hospitality & Tourism Complete, Hospitality & Tourism Index, Veterinary Science Database, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Cifuentes’s model, Covid-19 pandemic, Mardin-Artuklu, Multi criteria decision analysis (MCDA), Site of Mardin Cultural Landscape, Tourism carrying capacity (TCC)
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The sustainability of tourism areas requires visitor management complying with their carrying capacities. By focusing on culture, this study revisits Cifuentes’s model developed for determining tourist load capacity within the field of ecology and used widely in natural protection areas. Theoretically, from within the field of urban planning, it contributes with adaptation of this model into a mere cultural heritage site. Practically, it creates scientific bases for visitor management of the area of Site Management Plan for Artuklu (Mardin) considering the limitations of the pandemic. First, the study area covering the site of “Mardin Cultural Landscape” and its environs was divided into different Visitor Management Zones (VMZs) by following opportunity spectrum approaches. VMZs, characterized by high, medium, low tourist densities, were determined by evaluating the findings of MCDA. Secondly, physical (PCC), real (RCC), and effective (ECC) carrying capacities adapted from model were calculated for each VMZ. The findings indicated a high level of difference between the PCC and RCC and much higher difference with that of ECC. The RCCs and ECCs signified that unless resolving basic infrastructure problems besides inefficiencies of personnel employment for the proper management of the site, it is not possible for it to welcome new visitors.