While mass tourism has been positively encouraged in certain parts of south and southwest Turkey, in recent years there has also been much theoretical discussion about the importance of environmental and eco tourism.
Beyond the drawing board
However, for the province of Muğla a project along these lines looks like finally getting beyond the drawing board.
With the positive moves currently being made on a practical level, it has been confirmed that the necessary funding for an Eco Trail Project for the Dalyan area has at last been agreed.
Positive steps were made last month when the South Aegean Development Agency (GEKA) agreed the necessary funding at a meeting with the Provincial Governor of Muğla Amir Çiçek, Dalaman Governor Yilmaz Simsek, Ortaca Governor Fatih Ürkmez, Koycegiz Governor, Gürkan Demirkale and Deputy Governor, Reza Dalan.
At the meeting, Governor Çiçek described how the trail would incorporate Dalyan, Köyceğiz and Dalaman and new trails will be opened for trekking and cycling together with a map and guidebook.
He also spoke about the importance of encouraging tourism in the region:
We need to stimulate tourism and visits to historical sites. This should stimulate both domestic and international tourism, so it’s really important that we are prepared for this.”
The walking and cycling routes in Muğla will be implemented to support alternative tourism and it is great the GEKA have agreed to support this. One of our most important goals is to encourage year round tourism.”
Looking forward to the future
Murat Demirci from the Dalyan Tourism, Culture and Environmental Protection Association spoke of long distance nature trails and cultural wealth this project can offer the area. He continued:
In our region, we really want to promote alternative tourism, integrating our regional culture, environment and food. The Dalyan Project will effectively include Koycegiz and Dalaman too. To this end, we want to process the permits and bureaucracy to get the necessary permissions as soon as possible; we expect support from all the relevant institutions in this regard.”