Perhaps you are already thinking about coming to Fethiye next year for a spot of sailing, or maybe you are dreaming of relaxing on a gulet in the sunshine, but whatever you’re imagining yourself doing in Fethiye next summer, you’re going to see some really positive changes in the way marine tourism is carried out in the region.

For the last five years a group of people passionate about making Fethiye a centre for responsible tourism were working hard on the Taste of Fethiye project.

Now they are directing their energy towards another exciting project for Fethiye.

Taste of Fethiye UNWTO awards
Şemsi Toprak and Vicky Erdoğan: part of the team working hard to make Fethiye a responsible tourism destination

On the crest of a new Blue wave

Fethiye: sailing on the crest of a new Blue Wave
The new project’s Logo

Last Friday, representatives from The Travel Foundation, Fethiye’s Chamber of Shipping, TURMEPA (a Turkish marine conservation NGO) and D-Marin (a private company who own marinas in the region, and throughout the Mediterranean) met to officially launch the Fethiye latest responsible tourism initiative, Mavi Dalga, in English, ‘Blue Wave’, project.

As anyone who loves sailing around Fethiye and Göcek region will already be aware, the increasing popularity of marine tourism on the Turkish coast is taking its toll on the marine environment.

The aim of this project is to, amongst other things, improve awareness and understanding of the threats to the marine environment from marine tourism.

A glimpse of a gulet moored in a back near Lydae, Gocek, Turkey
A glimpse of a gulet moored in a back near Lydae, Gocek, Turkey

The project also plans to improve best practice standards in the Fethiye-Gocek Special Environmental Protection Area (SEPA) and monitor the effects marine tourism on the marine environment in order to improve the management of marine tourism development.

Why?

The Fethiye region of Muğla province is already a well-established tourist destination.

One of the main reasons why tourists visit is to enjoy the beautiful marine environment, with most tourists taking a least one boat trip during their stay.

Göcek's 12 IslandsHowever, the increasing popularity of marine recreation threatens to destroy the very thing that supports the economy of the region – the environment.

As well as the mounting pressure on resources and facilities, there is currently a lack of awareness amongst tourists, boat operators and marina staff on sustainable marine practices, and their importance.

How?

Fethiye: sailing on the crest of a new Blue Wave
Fethiye’s Blue Wave project

This project aims to improve awareness and understanding of the threats to the marine environment from marine tourism – both within the tourism sector and amongst holidaymakers themselves.

The project also aims to improve the level of sustainable practices carried out within the sector and amongst tourists, creating a cleaner and more appealing destination.

The plan is to establish a working group consisting of cross sector representation from all the stakeholders (marinas, bays, private boat operators, Chamber of Shipping, TURMEPA – environmental NGO and Travel Foundation).

This group will be responsible for delivering the project and co-ordinating activities.

The project will give visitors to the region more information to raise awareness of threats to the environment and how they can be reduced.

For more information click here