New Destinations in Eco-Tourism


The aim of the Result Oriented Program is; It is to increase the tourism revenues in the target districts by activating the potential of eco-tourism (tourism that includes the cultural heritage, highlights the natural environment and supports the welfare of the local community) in the South Aegean Region, and by expanding the tourism activities to the inner parts. In this context; Districts that are relatively superior in terms of natural wealth, activity and cultural property potential are expected to become centers of attraction within the scope of eco-tourism at the end of the SOP implementation period.

Specific Objectives of the Program:

1-Increasing the accessibility and attractiveness of natural wealth
2-Making local life and historical heritage experiential
3-Expanding and diversifying nature activities
4- Strengthening the capacity of destination management

Priority Districts Under the Program:

•  Karacasu
•  Söke,Kuşadası
•  Pamukkale,Buldan
•  Çameli,Fethiye/Seydikemer
•  Köyceğiz, Ula

Background and Reason for Intervention:

In the Eleventh Development Plan, “Diversifying and developing tourism in line with changing consumer trends and technological developments, extending the season, increasing the quality of service and attracting visitors with a higher spending tendency to our country, increasing the duration of accommodation and non-accommodation expenditures, each destination specific and focused. realizing the transformation in the sector within the framework of the understanding and contributing to the economic and social development by considering the protection-utilization balance" has been determined as the main objective.

The Southern Aegean Region, which covers the provinces of Aydın, Denizli and Muğla, maintains its goal of being an important tourism destination at the global level with its natural and cultural heritage and historical tourism experience. The 2014-2023 TR32 Regional Plan set out with the vision of “Global Tourism Focus, South Aegean”; In line with the policies included in the Eleventh Development Plan in the "Four Seasons Tourism" development axis, the priorities of "Providing the promotion of regional tourism based on innovation, cooperation and branding" and "Diversifying regional tourism to all four seasons and increasing service quality" have been determined.

Although mass sea tourism has a great share in the current success of the region, it is seen that there is not enough benefit in the region from very important alternative tourism opportunities, especially nature and cultural tourism. Factors such as the fact that the Southern Aegean is currently one of the regions that attract the most foreign tourists in our country, the average number of overnight stays is above the country average, and the country's share of approximately 25% in terms of tourism facilities and bed capacity create important opportunities in terms of evaluating the alternative tourism potential. In addition to all these positive aspects, it is seen that the tourism season in the region is stuck in the June-September period and the potential of tourism types other than sea-sand-sun tourism cannot be evaluated at the desired level.

Within the scope of the Southern Aegean Region Alternative Tourism Inventory study, completed in 2019, an inventory of alternative tourism items in the region was created and strategy/activity suggestions for making more use of the potential of the items in this inventory were discussed. In this context, alternative tourism elements identified in the districts of Aydın, Denizli and Muğla were visited, photographed and information was collected by our Agency's experts. Infrastructure and superstructure needs of alternative tourism elements, obstacles to attracting more tourists, and what needs to be done to become a center of attraction have been determined. As a result of the visits, alternative tourism items reports of all districts of Aydın, Denizli and Muğla were created.

In the period of 2013-2019, our agency has prepared various research reports in the field of alternative tourism, held workshops and carried out many activities in cooperation with sector stakeholders, within the scope of the priority of diversifying tourism in the regional plan. In addition, 69 projects were carried out in the themes of nature tourism, sports tourism, cultural tourism, medical tourism and other alternative tourism through financial support programs, and a significant infrastructure was created in line with the aim of increasing the attractiveness and activity diversity of alternative tourism areas in the region. All these efforts have increased the awareness of alternative tourism and investments in this area at the regional level. While our agency's past activities and projects have contributed to increasing the diversity of tourism,

Eco-tourism, which emerged as a reaction to mass tourism and the search for difference, has become a rapidly developing sub-sector of the tourism sector, especially the changes in the structure of international tourism demand, the shift from cities to nature, the increasing interest in environmental issues. With the information obtained within the scope of the Southern Aegean Region Alternative Tourism Inventory study prepared by our agency in 2019, it is predicted that some of our districts, which are relatively superior in terms of natural wealth, activity and cultural property potential, can be turned into competitive eco-tourism destinations. When the plans and programs regarding these sub-regions, the inventory, the concrete contributions that the agency can make in these regions, and the expectations and cooperation level of the stakeholders from the agency are evaluated together, It is foreseen that these regions will become centers of attraction within the scope of eco-tourism at the end of the SOP implementation period. In determining the priority regions, the index created by using the following indicators in the nature tourism values ​​matrix included in the 2023 Nature Tourism Master Plans prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry was used. Within the scope of this index, each district has been evaluated at the level of the following headings.

  • Canyon, Cave, Mountain Cycling, Mountaineering, Mountain-Highland Excursion Opportunity
  • Camping, Organized Hiking Route
  • Hostels, Agro-tourism
  • Bird Watching, National Park etc. Fields, Waterfall Viewing Opportunity
  • Places With Aesthetic Lakes / Dams
  • Registered Game Reserve, Wildlife Improvement Area
  • Virgin Nature Excursions, Virgin Forest Excursions
  • Ruins, Air Sports (Balloon, Slope, Parachute)
  • Proximity to Tourism Focal Points, Proximity to Transportation Networks


The sectoral reports prepared and prepared by our Agency in the previous period for the target eco-tourism regions within the scope of the New Destinations in Eco-tourism SOP will also be utilized in the preparation and evaluation studies during the SOP implementation period.

Some of the projects carried out in the target eco-tourism regions within the scope of the New Destinations in Eco-tourism SOP in alternative tourism-themed financial support programs in 2013, 2015 and 2018 are listed below. has been discarded.

Although some infrastructures have been created in the target districts with the support programs of our agency, there are nature areas, rural life/heritage-related elements and rural activities in the districts that have not yet been fully integrated into tourism. The summary chart regarding the activities to be implemented and the tools to be used by the agency within the scope of the SOP in the 2020-2023 period is given below.


Outcome and Output Goals

Within the scope of the program, the targeted results and outputs for the period of 2020-2023 are given in the table below.


Table 1: New Destinations SOP Outcome Targets in Eco-tourism


Indicator Name




Relevant Special Purpose(s)


Increase in the number of overnight stays at the facilities in the target districts¹






Increase in visitors to the ruins in the target districts²






Number of new businesses established in the services sector supporting eco-tourism activities






Number of destinations that continue to hold destination management commission meetings in 2023





¹Increase rate in the number of overnight stays in tourism operation and municipality certified accommodation facilities in the period (2022-2023) compared to the period (2018-2019)
² Increase rate in the number of visitors to the ruins in the period (2022-2023) compared to the period (2018-2019) (%) )