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Assessing Zir Valley and its Environs in Point of Alternative Tourism Potential by Using GIS

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According to Özkan Yürik (2003), in parallel with rapid, economic, political and technological developments in the world, there has been a significant change in tourism consumption models in recent years (Önder and Polat 2004). With reference to Akpınar (2005), along with sea, sand and sun-based mass tourism, the quest for alternative tourism has gradually been increasing (Akpınar and Akbulut 2007). According to Weaver (1999) and Topaktaş (1997), alternative tourism is a small-scale tourism format, which has directly opposite characteristics from mass tourism, is locally controlled, is based on the nature and the culture of the region and pays specific attention to environmental and social transportation capacity (Bulut 2006; Oruç 2004).

The city of Ankara has significant tourism potential because of the tasks it has undertaken in its history and its strategic-geographical position within the country, as well as the fact that it is the second largest metropolitan city and the capital of the country. This potential shall be embraced and assessed as it is able to meet the recreational needs of citizens for one-day and weekend trips. It will also respond to the regional and territorial dynamics brought about by the functions of the capital city (Anonymous 2005a).

In this study, we examined Zir Valley and its environs within the context of alternative tourism potential with the help of GIS. The valley is 30km away from Ankara and has a special importance within the steppe landscape of Ankara due to both its ecological and visual assets created by the valley landscape and historical and archaeological assets. These consist of Hellenic, Turkish and Armenian Cultures (Anonymous 2007), all being embraced. The positive and negative aspects of the area were assessed from the aspect of alternative tourism, the most convenient areas for the determined usages were specified, and some required suggestions were made from the aspect of landscape architecture in order to maximise the success of land use.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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