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The Expectations of the Local Community and Visitors From Tourism in Rural Areas: Case of Safranbolu-Yörükköyü Village



Tugba Kiper and Mukerrem Arslan
 
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ABSTRACT

The formation and development of tourism in a specific rural area is bound to the natural and cultural landscape assets, which alters that area from others. In fact, many components such as the local culture, agricultural pattern and natural resources are the features that form rural areas. For this reason determining the expectations and inclinations of the local community who are the center of the target group and those participators that are to use these resources is an important subject. In this study, the topics were questioned with a research based on questionnaires, observations and related literature are (1) What is the visitors’ land use and satisfaction level? (2) What are the expectations of the local community from tourism and what are they able to do? With this aim, different questionnaires were applied to the visitors and the local community in the case of the Safranbolu-Yörükköyü Village. These questionnaires were applied to a total of randomly selected 194 people. One hundred and forty four of them were composed of visitors and 50 of them were from the local community. Questionnaires have been applied to people having different socio-economic structures in June and July of 2004. The research shows that Safranbolu-Yörükköyü has a suitable potential for rural tourism with its historical, cultural and natural resources. These resources can contribute to the diversification and distribution of tourism to different seasons and the local people can have active roles during this process.

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  How to cite this article:

Tugba Kiper and Mukerrem Arslan , 2007. The Expectations of the Local Community and Visitors From Tourism in Rural Areas: Case of Safranbolu-Yörükköyü Village. Journal of Applied Sciences, 7: 2544-2550.

DOI: 10.3923/jas.2007.2544.2550

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=jas.2007.2544.2550

INTRODUCTION

The aim of this study to emphasize the importance touristic activities with respect to local population, to evaluate the touristic prefences of the visitors population and the socio-economic needs of the rural population within the same context and to discuss rural tourism in the Yörükköyü district as a mean of rural development.

Rural areas are places where humankind gets into various interactions with themselves and with the nature. In these areas, besides agriculture and forestry, economic activities such as tourism, small- middle scaled industry and handcrafts are important. Also these areas are ecologically valuable and they are places where there is an interaction with people from cities (Anonymous, 2004). In this point of view, they form spaces for many tourism types such as cultural tourism, rural tourism, ecotourism, green tourism, cave tourism, stream tourism, plateau tourism, mountain tourism, hunting tourism etc.

When the supply components of rural tourism are examined, the products to meet the consumer needs should first of all have the below features (Anonymous, 1999).

Natural, environmental and historical attractions,
A community that conserves its authentic features,
The harmony of the local cultural assets with tourism and tourism knowledge,
Interest of the national, regional and local management towards the subject,
Services such as transportation, accommodation and eating/drinking over the international and national standards.

The expectations of the participators and the power, role and effect of the local community towards these activities form the basis of the tourism features that have been mentioned above. Studies on determining the inclination of the local community towards tourism should be made separately for each area where tourism activities take place or planned, because the approaches of people towards tourism that live in the various parts of the world is different. In this context, many studies that examine and support the impacts of tourism on the expectations of the local community and visitors have been made. These are:

According to YaImage for - The Expectations of the Local Community and Visitors  From Tourism in Rural Areas: Case of Safranbolu-Yörükköyü Villagec1(2003), among the rural tourism demand, there is a consumer group that desires to explore the local culture and the natural - cultural assets. Getting acquainted with the local habits, attitudes, behavior and relations is the basic expectation of this consumer group.

According to Thrane (2002), the main goal of developing the local tourism industry in rural areas is to attract visitors to the region and to provide them to contribute to the regional economy. From this point of view, it is important determine the expectations of the visitors. The positive-negative impacts of tourism are given in Table 1. Thus, tourism is an effective factor for bringing out and developing the present natural and cultural heritage resources. It also puts forward the local identity. But on the other hand, corrosive effects may occur by disappearance of unique values if tourism is perceived just as a commercial product.

In his study, Yagüe-Perales (2002) determined the variables that directly define and characterize the modern rural tourists. The study was run in the El Alto Palancia region of Spain. A questionnaire was applied to determine the tourists demographic profile (age, gender, income etc.), their travel organization (accommodation period, accommodation preference, transportation etc.), their ideas about the region’s natural and cultural assets and their preference in activity types. In the study, 600 questionnaires that have a 95% accuracy and 4% error rate were applied. However, 500 of them were evaluated.

In the study, the Logit Binomial Model was used. Related with the definition of modern or traditional tourists, the answer given to the variable determined as The reason of selecting the region for vacation was effective. The traditional tourists selected the region because of their relatives and their connections that lived in the region, which meant that they had places to stay. Not having a specific local origin in the region determined the modern tourists. At the end of the analysis it was observed that those under the age of 34 that have no origin in the Alto Palancia region, that have an interest in natural resources, nature walks, bicycle rides and jeep tours but those that dislike fishing or hunting are the modern rural tourists. According to statistical analysis, most of the tourists that visit the region (331 of 500 people) have a connection with the region. This shows that the traditional rural tourists who visit the area are at majority.

According to Soykan (1999) when it is thought to develop rural tourism in any rural area the local community in that region should seize tourism, make this voluntarily, be pleased of tourists and be educated for this type of tourism.

Table 1: Positive and negative impacts of tourism (Mc Donnel et al., 1998; Gannon, 1994)
Image for - The Expectations of the Local Community and Visitors  From Tourism in Rural Areas: Case of Safranbolu-Yörükköyü Village

According to MansuroImage for - The Expectations of the Local Community and Visitors  From Tourism in Rural Areas: Case of Safranbolu-Yörükköyü Villagelu (2006) after planning the impacts of tourism on the local economy, tourism can be more effective with the conservation of the environmental factors that support tourism and the detailed knowledge of these factors. For this reason, before planning a region for tourism, the socio-economic structure of the local community should be examined. Their approaches about the development of tourism and opinions about the environmental assets should be considered. In this context, a total of 90 questionnaires were applied to the local community that live in the Akseki district within the Antalya Province.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The study area, Yörükköyü Village, is in Safranbolu which is a World Heritage City in Turkey. In the selection of the Yörükköyü region the local architecture, nomad culture, variety of the agricultural production, the saffron plant, natural potential, closeness to Safranbolu (13 km), gastronomic features and water assets were considered (Kiper, 2006).

Questionnaires have been applied in Yörükköyü of Safranbolu. In determining the opinions of the local community and visitors about the tourism development, questionnaires using standard forms were applied as a method. Between the dates June 2004-July 2004, a total of 194 questionnaires were performed to the subjects whose 50 of them are from the local community and 144 of them are visitors. The questionnaires were applied to two different groups composed of the local community that live in the region and the visitors that came to the region for the purpose of a tourism activity.

In the questionnaires applied to the visitors, it was aimed to determine the tourism activities and the expectations of those who take part in recreational activities and to evaluate the ideas of them about the Safranbolu-Yörükköyü Village. A random sample of 144 was selected for the questionnaires because information on the visitor number was not registered statistically.

The other questionnaire was developed considering the local community as an effective group that will provide the application of the results obtained from the rural tourism studies carried out in the region. In this context not only the expectations of the local community from tourism were determined, but also the inclination and socio-economic features of the community was tried to be ascertained. In the questionnaire concerning the local community the complete count method was taken into account. However, the questionnaire number was limited with 50 as a result of the health problems and the negative approaches of some people. The obtained data was evaluated using the Microsoft Excel and Minitab 13 package programs.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Under the heading of research findings, the results obtained from the questionnaires applied to the local community and visitors have been given.

Findings obtained from the visitor questionnaires: The results of the questionnaires applied to 144 voluntary individuals were evaluated from 16 questions and under 3 different groups related with the findings about the socio-demographic structure, recreational activities and the attitudes towards the study area with recreational inclinations. Besides, when it is asked to tick more than one option if necessary, some options were evaluated as a different question.

In the tables where the questionnaires of the Safranbolu-Yörükköyü Village are evaluated, the following symbols were expressed as:

N: Total of the column related with the table or the 144 individual responding to the questionnaire
n: The individual number that responded to the questionnaire

Findings related with the socio-demographic structure: Now the information about the gender, age, occupation and education of the visitors has been given.

59.03% (58 people) of the respondents are composed of women and 41.4% (59 people) of men. 68.75% (99 people) of the 144 individuals are married and 31.25% (45 people) of them are single. Forty one percent (59 people) of the married respondents have no children.

Forty three percent of the individuals, classified under five age groups that participate to recreational activities are between the 30-39 age group. When their education is examined, it is observed that with 62.50% (90 people) the undergraduates and graduates compose the largest part. When the occupations of the respondents that participate to recreational activities are examined, it is seen that most of them are occupied with a professional job with a 27.08% (39 people) rate. Service and salesperson follow this group with a 20.14% (29 people) rate (Kiper, 2006).

As shown in Table 2, it is challenging that educated people between the ages of 30-39 and having professional accumulation prefer participation to recreational activities more than the others.

Findings related with the expectations from recreational activities: It was possible to determine the visitors preference of destinations and recreational activities from the questionnaires. According to the obtained results; with the highest rate, 76.39% (110 people) responded affordability to the question What do you take into account while you select a destination for vacation?.

The preferred places of individuals that participate to recreational activities are villages with the highest rate of 57.55%. The preferred activities of those who participate to recreational activities are historical areas with 57.55% (80 people).

While questioning the places where the visitors came from, ‍stanbul was the highest with 32.64% (47 people), followed by other places with 25% (36 people).

The preferred places of individuals that participate to recreational activities are villages with the highest rate of 57.55%. The preferred activities of those who participate to recreational activities are historical areas with 57.55% (80 people).

As shown in Table 3, respondents prefer recreation activities that take place at villages and also prefer seeing historical places. This shows that respondents' expectations are intended for rural tourism.

Findings related with the tourism and recreation inclination of the study area: The first question towards the study area was to determine if they had come to the region before or not. According to this, 61.11% of them came for the first time and among the ones that came before 50% (29 people) of them come annually.

When the respondents that participate to recreational activities were questioned for what reason they come to the study area for, the traditional architectural texture was the highest answered with a 40.97% (59 people) rate. When the best feature of the study area that attracted the attention of the ones that participate to recreational activities were questioned, the 75% (108 people) expressed that it was the traditional architecture. In the question related with the negative features of the region; 33.33% said that the accommodation was insufficient, followed by the electric poles and the narrow roads that the buses drive in with a rate of 32.64 and 31.94%, respectively. Visitors point of view towards accommodation including Sundays were positive with a rate of 86.11%. Considering the assets of the study area, the opinion of the respondents that participate to recreational activities about the tourism activities that can be developed were cultural tourism with an 89.58% (124) rate, followed by other tourism types within similar percentages (Table 4).

Table 2: Distribution of the participators to recreational activities according to their gender (N = 144)
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Table 3: Preferred places of the participators for recreational activities
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To the question What could be done to revitalize tourism in the region? 65.97% (95 people) stated that a good presentation-advertisement could be made. With a percentage of 31.94 (46 people), others said that the local community should have an active role in tourism and that a good organization which comprehends a planning and application process should be made equally (Table 4). To the question Would you recommend the region to your close relatives? 99.31% (143 people) gave an affirmative reply.

Findings obtained from the questionnaires related with the local community: In the questions directed to individuals when they were asked to tick more than one option if necessary, some options were evaluated as a different question (as in the visitor questionnaires). In the tables where the questionnaires applied to the local community of the Safranbolu-Yörükköyü Village is evaluated, the following symbols were expressed as:

Table 4: Distribution of the inclination towards tourism and recreation in the study area
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N: Total of the column related with the table or the 50 individual responding to the questionnaire
n: The individual number that responded to the questionnaire

Findings related with the socio-demographic and economic structure: Fifty eight percent of the 50 individuals that responded to the questionnaire are men and 42% are women. When their marital status is considered, 82% of them are married and 18% are single. While the 44% (22 people) of the married respondents have three or more children, 18% (9 people) have no children. The gender and marital status of the individuals are given in Table 5.

It is observed that 56 % of the respondents are between the ages of 40-59, 28% are 18-39 and 16% of them are over the age of 60. According to this, the middle-aged group is at majority. When the education of the local community is examined, 48% of them have graduated from primary schools, 30% from high schools or higher and 22% have completed secondary schools. Considering the occupation of the individuals, 38% are housewives, 20% are retired and 16% are qualified agricultural or stockbreeding workers. When the social securities of the individuals are examined, 68% of them are insured by SSK (Social Insurance Institution) and 24% have no social security (Table 5).

Findings related with agricultural production: To the question related with the area of agricultural field they own; while 34.09% gave the answer of 1-9 da, 65.91% of them owned a field at an area of 10 da or more.

Table 5: Local community of the individuals’ socio-demographic structure
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Those that own a vineyard-garden, which has an area of 1-4 da, are 43.18% and those that own 1 or 2 cattle have a percentage of 60.87 (Table 6).

Findings related with the awareness and knowledge towards the study area: When the specific features of the study area, related with the natural and cultural assets, are examined: 97.92% (47 people) of the respondents preferred the traditional architecture and rural texture. Agricultural structure-local products, natural vegetation and the saffron plant followed this with a rate of 80%. While the 72% of the individuals preferred the Araç Stream, lake and canyon; 62% preferred the nomad culture and traditional handcrafts. When the distribution of the most important problems seen in the village by the local community is considered, 82% (41 people) stated it as migration from the village to towns, followed by the absence of young work forces with 80% (40 people) rate.

When the reasons of the migrants’ return back to the village were asked, 50% of the respondents stated that it was to prepare and take winter provisions. To the question regarding their return if a tourism opportunity is to be created, 58% gave a negative respond.

Findings related with the desire for a tourism-recreation supply at the study area: When the responds to the question, regarding the benefits of the tourism applications to be made in the region, is considered; the choice of the village’s improvement-modernization was the highest with a 78% (39 people) rate (Table 8).

When the opinions of those that are to come to the Safranbolu-Yörükköyü Village for the purpose of tourism and recreation were taken, 96% gave a positive reply. According to the individual’s opinions about the distribution of different tourism types, 94% preferred culture tourism, followed by agricultural tourism, gastronomy tourism, rural tourism and nature tourism with a rate of 88, 86, 82 and 74%, respectively.

Table 6: Distribution of the individuals’ agricultural production
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Table 7: Distribution of the awareness and knowledge towards the study area
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Eighty two percent preferred the presentation of food types and the sales of agricultural products. Guidance services, services such as opening the specific parts of a field for the benefits of tourists and accommodation services were chosen with a rate of 74, 54 and 46%, respectively. Thirty four percent said economic support was necessary with the highest rate and 30% (15 people) preferred a good organization and planning for the condition of success in the tourism studies to be made in the village.

The interesting results obtained at the end of the study are stated under the following items:

Although most of the visitors (61.11%) came to the study area for the first time, it is interesting that the majority (50%) of those that came before visit the area annually.
When the important features of the study area were asked to those participators in recreational activities and to the local community, both the visitors (75%) and the local community (97.92%) chose the traditional architecture. It was interesting to see that both groups gave the same answer.
Among the most important negative factors, the visitors chose insufficient accommodation with a 33.33% rate and the local community chose migration from the village to towns with an 82% rate.

Table 8: Distribution of the desire for tourism-recreation supply at the study area
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When the tourism activities to be developed in the study area are considered, both user groups (89.58% of the visitors, 94% of the local community) preferred culture tourism.
The most important support that the local community can give to tourism is presenting food varieties to tourists and selling agricultural products (82%).
According to the visitors, the condition for success of tourism in the study area is a very good advertisement (65.97%), followed by the participation of the local community and a good organization with an application and planning process (31.94%). According to the local community, economic support was necessary (34%) for the tourism types to be developed, followed by a good organization (30%).
To the question Would you recommend the region to your close relatives? the visitors gave a positive reply with a 99.31% (143 people) rate. This is an important result, which shows that all visitors except for one got a positive impression about the area.

Deliberative enterprises -not incidental- starts the basis of rural tourism anywhere. Recreational activities have important roles among the facilities offerred to tourists by rural tourism. The diversity of these activities increase the tourist number and duration of stays. The type of the activity being offerred to tourists and the difference of the site from the neighbouring villages support the success of rural tourism. This shows that rural tourism is a team work. Local population should embrace this issue and should try to convert the area to a center of attraction. From this point, this study exposes the power of the local population as an instrument for acquiring an authentic identity and for recognizing the unknown values of Safranbolu-Yörükköyü for the development of rural tourism. Assigning the expectation and the power of the participants also carry importance for discovering their tendencies towards tourism for the study area.

Turkey is a suitable country for the development of an alternative tourism type with its location and natural-cultural landscape assets. The resources should be determined and used correctly by specifying the priorities for the tourism types to be developed under the framework of the present situation and the expectations. Here, the power and expectations of the local community and participators are important in determining the impacts of tourism on the regional economy, in the conservation of natural resources and in the detailed definition of these factors. For this reason, the participation of the local community should be provided in all the studies about tourism. Results of this study show parallelism with this. This research carries an applicable feature by putting out the present situation and by giving an opinion about the tourism and recreational development in the future.

The aim of this study to identify the supply potential of rural tourism, which is a new subject to both Safranbolu-Yörükköyü and Turkey, a different survey demand-sided survey was conducted in the area of research. This which are believed to be crucial to make social analyses and to develop applicable model recommendations evaluation. As a result, the knowledge of the local community and of the participators about the tourism impact was determined in this study. The application of rural tourism under the framework of sustainable development in the Safranbolu-Yörükköyü settlement should only be performed with the selection of the effective and correct planning tools. This should be done with priority by determining the opinions, power and expectations of the local community and the participators which are at the center of the target group.

REFERENCES
1:  Anonymous, 1999. Towards quality rural tourism. Enterprise Directorate General Tourism Unit, European Commission (EC), Brussels.

2:  Anonymous, 2004. EU rural development policies and variation trends. ww.zmo.org.tr/etkinlikler/abs03/10pdf, date of access: 15.10.2004.

3:  Gannon, A., 1994. Rural tourism as a factor in rural community economic development for economies in transition. J. Sustainable Tourism, 1: 51-60.
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4:  Kiper, T., 2006. An assesment of the landscape potential of safranbolu-yorukkoyu in the frame of rural tourism. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Ankara Graduate, Ankara.

5:  Mansurolu, S., 2006. Evaluation of local people approach to development on tourism/A case of Akseki/ Antalya. J. Akdeniz Agric. Fac., 19: 35-46.

6:  McDonnel, I., J. Allen and W. O`toole, 1998. Festival and Special Event Management. John Wiley and Sons Australia Ltd., Brisbane.

7:  Thrane, C., 2002. Jazz festival visitors and their expenditures: Linking spending patterns to musical interest. J. Travel Res., 40: 281-286.
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8:  Soykan, F., 1999. Rural tourism: A type of tourism integrated natural environment and rural culture. J. Anatolia Tourism Res., 10: 67-75.

9:  Yague-Perales, R.M., 2002. Rural tourism in Spain. Ann. Tourism Res., 29: 1101-1110.

10:  Yac, O., 2003. Variaty, sustainability and rural tourism. Alternative tourism potantial and actual difficulties. Proceedings of the Turkey Conference, May 3-4, 2003.

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