Integrating visitor characteristics and preferences into forest management plans in protected areas: A case study in Koprulu Canyon National Park


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KARAHALİL U. , Baskent E. Z. , KÖSE S.

ECO MONT-JOURNAL ON PROTECTED MOUNTAIN AREAS RESEARCH, vol.7, no.2, pp.5-17, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1553/eco.mont-7-2s5
  • Title of Journal : ECO MONT-JOURNAL ON PROTECTED MOUNTAIN AREAS RESEARCH
  • Page Numbers: pp.5-17

Abstract

Designing a protected area forest management plan is a challenging task due to difficulties in balancing conservation and utilization values in a sustainable manner. Köprülü Canyon National Park (NP) was selected as the target of a study of visitor perceptions and expectations, as it is provides many goods and services, including historical and natural resources and is the most visited national park in Turkey. Different demographic characteristics like gender, age or nationality, visitor characteristics such as visit frequency, seasonal preferences or transportation methods and as expectations such as visit objective, regional preference and deficiencies in recreational facilities were investigated. We found that the most important park characteristic is the provision of rafting, where 71.1% respondents reported as their preferred activity. Four forest values, including esthetics, recreation, water conservation, and nature conservation covering 2 735 ha (7.6% of the total area), were determined according to the visitors’ perceptions. 

Designing a protected area forest management plan is a challenging task given the difficulties in balancing conservation and utilization values in a sustainable manner. Koprulu Canyon National Park (NP) was selected as the target of a study of visitor perceptions and expectations as it provides many goods and services, including historical and natural resources, and is the most visited national park in Turkey. Different demographic characteristics like gender, age or nationality, visitor characteristics such as visit frequency, seasonal preferences or transportation methods, and expectations, such as the objective of the visit, regional preference and deficiencies in recreational facilities were investigated. We found that the most important park characteristic is its suitability for rafting, which 71.1% respondents reported as their preferred activity. Four forest values, including aesthetics, recreation, water conservation and nature conservation across 2 735 ha (7.6% of the total area), were determined according to the visitors' perceptions.