Work underway to open 19 ecotourism sites
The General Directorate of Forestry is working on a project to develop 19 new ecotourism sites across Turkey as people make plans for the holiday season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Demand for ecotourism has been on the rise around the globe over the past years because of climate change and drought and this is particularly the case this year because of the outbreak," said Bekir Karacabey, the head of the directorate.
The General Directorate of Forestry has paid special attention to ecotourism since 2011 and it is drafting an "Ecotourism Action Plan," which lays out how forests should be managed in ecotourism sites, he noted.
The action plan also aims at promoting awareness among the public regarding forests and the environment.
"Some 2,500 square kilometers area will be developed as ecotourism sites in Turkey's 81 provinces under 100 different schemes by the end of 2040," Karacabey said.
The directorate already has plans ready for 19 sites.
Those cites will include a total of 350 kilometers long walking and cycling tracks.
"People are showing a growing interest in such activities both in Turkey and around the world as people become more conscious about climate change and the preservation of natural resources. On top of that, the interest in economy tourism will get a boost as people emerge from self-isolation due to the pandemic," he said.
Those ecotourism sites will provide accommodation and provide people the opportunity to explore nature and have some fun time with their families, Karacabey added.