ALternative tourism in MEditerranean Regions (ALMERE)
Programme: Erasmus + KA204, 2020-1-TR01-KA204-093468 Project coordinated by Akdeniz Üniversitesi (Anatolia)
Forms of sustainable tourism, contributing to mutual understanding, mutual respect, and empathy between visitors and guests
Tourism is the most popular leisure activity in the 21st century. This activity –before to be industry– was popular in the early nineteenth century. But mostly, it was expensive and limited to a small number of locations. In the 1960s everything suddenly changed. While the changing living conditions were created extra time and money to spend. At the same time, reasonably-priced commercial aircraft were able to carry passengers to any airport of the world. Nowadays, international tourists’ arrivals reached 1.4 billion and half of these arrivals occurred in Europe.
Tourism is a very popular way of resting, of entertaining and, possibly, of acquainting with cultures, customs, human behaviors, etc., which is also a major source of revenue for tourism countries. In modern times, tourism has evolved into a massive and one-dimensional “tourism industry” (inbound tourism, mainly, and domestic tourism, less), massively developing in certain regions of the tourist country and at certain periods of the year. It is dominated by all-inclusive holiday “packages” in large hotels and resorts, but also with adverse effects on the social level (economic and social life of permanent residents and workers, often with limited labor rights, is depended largely on it), on the local culture, and on the natural environment (construction of tourist complexes on coastlines or even in protected areas, and other ecosystem disturbance).
The changing living conditions in recent years have caused changes in the tourism structure in many areas. Changes in the trends of touristic consumers towards their travel destinations in global tourism force touristic destinations to develop new and alternative tourist products in order to meet these changes. In this context, alternative tourism is defined as a tourism form that is in harmony with nature, social values and the values of local people, allows the positive relationship of both visitors and local people, and enables them to share their experiences.
Gradually, a global trend has been created towards the development of human and natural forms of tourism (cultural tourism, hiking tourism, conference tourism, city-breaks tourism, agritourism, etc.), targeting to sustainable tourism development, which is not restricted to certain regions of a country and during particular year periods, but a tourism which is feasible in every region of a country and throughout the year.
Alternative tourism is the opposite form of mass tourism. In Europe, the term “alternative tourism” was used to determine touristic activities aiming at regional development of all the areas of a country, creating alternative income for economically disadvantaged categories of citizens, encourages interaction with the local environment, people and communities and, of course, touristic activities environmentally friendly to the habitats and the ecosystems.
The main purpose of this project is to create awareness and mutual understanding to alternative tourism resources in the Mediterranean countries, which are adversely affected by mass tourism movements. In addition, to organize activities aimed at raising awareness of local people and visitors for alternative tourism resources in Mediterranean countries. And to create a network between citizens who interested in relevant alternative tourism activities within the Mediterranean countries.
Through this project, we can create a tourism guide for alternative tourism resources, that aims to share information and good practice between citizens of the Mediterranean countries.
In these case; we expected that to deeper exploration, appreciation and, protection of natural environment; to interact between humans and cultural monuments; to understand of manners and customs, traditions, behaviors; so support regional economies (rural areas, mountainous villages, small and isolated areas; to tackle the problem of seasonal tourism and, to discover of “hidden points” of a city.
We are intended to activate and involve in education and training procedure local community (especially lives in potential alternative tourism regions), as well as visitors/guests. We would also like to collaborate with relevant networks from other Mediterranean countries.
– Local authorities,
– Universities, youth organizations,
– Outdoor sports clubs, nature-based tourism associations
A general characteristic of each country is that likes to know how it performs compared to other countries. This comparison is an important aspect that enables countries to determine whether it makes sense to copy successful policies and good practices of others. Countries also have a strong desire to exchange and share ideas and factors that influence them.
Therefore, conducting the ALMERE project on a transnational level is justified as it will enable partners to exchange knowledge and experience concerning alternative tourism activities and compare good practice.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.