Evaluation of effects of thermal tourism on local economy : the case of Thermal District of Yalova

Piri, Taner
Tourism and local economic development are closely linked. Tourism can have a constructive effect on local economy and may help balance some of the inequalities between different parts of a country. Thus, in many regions in the world, the tourism sector is accepted as one of the greatest sources of economic growth and job creation. In line with economic contribution of the sector, tourism policy has become an instrument for territorial development and for enhancing an area’s opportunities. It appears that tourism in Turkey, which is a tourism country, developed rapidly especially after the 1980s and gained important competitive advantage in international tourism market by using her mass tourism (sea, sand, sun) potential well. In addition to mass tourism, Turkey also has a significant potential for alternative tourism in different regions. Although Turkey takes important tourism share in the world, in terms of tourism revenues and arrivals, it is not sufficient considering the potential. It is obvious that alternative tourism potential is not fully explored due to some obstacle faced in the tourism sector. Insufficient commercialization of natural resources such as geothermal, lack of adequate infrastructure for diversification and geographical expansion, lack of effective promotion and marketing activities are some of these obstacles. Particularly, having rich geothermal resources, thermal tourism has come to the fore as a type of alternative tourism in Turkey. Thermal tourism is a significant tourism type, which helps to improve people’s health condition by providing a complementary therapy and also allows many recreational activities for the visitors. The aim of this thesis is to point out the crucial position of geothermal resources in the context of thermal tourism for their contribution to local economic development. In this context, the first chapter introduces the main aim and the research questions of the thesis and second chapter mentions the importance of tourism for local economic development. The third chapter explains importance of thermal tourism, which is given priority in the diversification of alternative tourism policy in Turkey, is discussed. Within this context, the thermal tourism policies determined by the 2023 Turkey Tourism Strategy and Thermal Tourism Master Plan are investigated as the main local economic development tool of regions, which are all rich in geothermal resources. In the fourth chapter, the direct and indirect economic effects of tourism considering the multiplier effect of tourist spending. The methodology selected for the case study, is mentioned in the fifth chapter. Finally, as a case study Termal District of Yalova will be analyzed in terms of employment data as well as investments in these regions in detail in order to understand the economic importance of thermal tourism at local and regional levels in the context of Thermal Tourism Master Plan.
Citation Formats
T. Piri, “ Evaluation of effects of thermal tourism on local economy : the case of Thermal District of Yalova ,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.