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Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 974; doi:10.3390/su8100974

Assessing Ecotourism Potential of Traditional Wooden Architecture in Rural Areas: The Case of Papart Valley

1
Forestry Economics Department, Faculty of Forestry, Istanbul University, Bahçeköy-Istanbul 34473, Turkey
2
Forest Botany Department, Faculty of Forestry, Istanbul University, Bahçeköy-Istanbul 34473, Turkey
3
Provincial Directorate of Environment and Urbanization, Kocaeli 41310, Turkey
4
Department of Forest Biology and Wood Protection Technology, Faculty of Forestry, Istanbul University, Bahçeköy-Istanbul 34473, Turkey
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Joo Hwa Bay
Received: 29 July 2016 / Revised: 19 September 2016 / Accepted: 23 September 2016 / Published: 27 September 2016
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Abstract

The aim of this study is to reveal the resource values that the rural areas host, and with a very disciplined approach, to discuss opportunities to benefit from those values in terms of ecotourism practices specific to Papart Valley. As a first step in this study, we took an inventory of natural and cultural assets of Papart Valley in Eastern Black Sea Region, Artvin province. Then, a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis was conducted with the participation of all stakeholders and the current situation was analyzed in terms of ecotourism practices. In light of SWOT results, along with observed natural resource assets in the region, the traditional wooden houses were seen to have potential in terms of ecotourism and it was detected that there were a large number of wooden homes and home plans suitable for both the settlement of the local people and accommodation of guests. On the other hand, it was determined that there was a lack of information for sufficient protection and care of wooden houses, and despite their potential, there was a lack of regulations and positive attitudes towards accomodation businesses in traditional wooden houses. In order to eliminate these deficiencies, proposals for the protection of traditional building stock were developed, by first determining the causes of material degradation in the wooden houses. Also, to emphasize the worth and importance of these structures, dendrochronology studies were conducted in order to determine the antiquity of the structures and potentially to make them more attractive for eco-tourism. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural areas; ecotourism; traditional wooden architecture; wood protection; dendrochronology rural areas; ecotourism; traditional wooden architecture; wood protection; dendrochronology
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Okan, T.; Köse, N.; Arifoğlu, E.; Köse, C. Assessing Ecotourism Potential of Traditional Wooden Architecture in Rural Areas: The Case of Papart Valley. Sustainability 2016, 8, 974.

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