TOURISM AND SPATIAL PLANNING OF PROTECTED AREAS: PROBLEMS AND PERSPECTIVES IN GREECE

Main Article Content

Marilena Papageorgiou

Keywords

Protected Areas, tourism, spatial planning, conservation planning, Greece

Abstract

In Greece, the State’s interest in preserving areas of biological importance began in the 1930s, resulting in an extended network of Protected Areas (with varying degrees of restriction), that so far covers more than 25% of the country. However, despite the exceptional natural and cultural heritage of these sites, management and planning of Protected Areas is suffering from obsolescence and under-funding. Management Plans are often outdated, whilst Management Agencies are struggling to survive due to the current fiscal crisis. Given this framework, nature-based tourism is inadequately organized, representing so far only a small proportion of the Greek tourism industry. The paper argues that organization of tourism within Protected Areas can become extremely beneficial for Greece, serving a fourfold purpose: a) enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage of the country, b) self-financing of Protected Areas, c) dispersion of tourism activity to all parts of the country (instead of only the islands and coasts), and d) broadening the offered tourism product that is still characterized by seasonality.

Abstract 48 | PDF Downloads 29