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Management of sustainable touristic development at regional level.

1. INTRODUCTION

The touristic activity is one of the economic branches which imposed at the end of the 20th century through their amazing development. The industrial society and lately the informational one, as today's society is called (Naisbitt, 1989), had plenty beneficial effects on the quality of human's life. However, at the same time, this society has also negative effects on its members both from the biological point of view and from the psychological one as well: pollution, lack of sport, stress, different kinds of constraints. Hence, people's desire of spending their spare time by travelling and searching a resting and quiet place or a place for medical care is nowadays more and more obvious.

Tourism expresses itself as a different constitutive part within economy, being present both in the economic and in the social life, so taking part in the general progress, as an important pillar of sustainable development.

Throughout this paper we tried to analyse the effects that tourism has on a touristic region, that of Brasov, from three points of view: economic, social and ecological.

Although tourism has a great number of positive effects such as the increase of earnings, which allow the modernization of other fields, it contributes to the creation of new jobs, to the rise of income of people who work in this field--especially of women and young people, to the increase of agricultural products' demand and of construction, transports and handcraft industries. In some regions, tourism must also slow down the process of depopulation.

There cannot be neglected the negative effects generated by the uncontrolled development of tourism, especially the effects it has on the host communities and on the environment. It is important that the negative effects be identified so that the factors of decision find methods of their decreasing and even of their removal.

The premise and the condition of a sustainable touristic development is the accurate evaluation of the touristic potential. The right diagnosis of the opportunities and risks, which must be the basis of viable projects, needs an interdisciplinary awareness [Evaluating a territory's touristic potential]. Moreover, the future awareness is essential in the touristic development projects.

2. THE PURPOSE AND THE OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH

This paper is the outline of some pieces of research done on a great number of years and which are the starting point of my PhD thesis "Management of sustainable touristic development at regional level". Nowadays, this field is of a real interest, especially in today's economic background of the global crisis which affects very much tourism, as well. The undertaken research had as purpose the scientific grounding of the management of sustainable touristic development in Brasov (Romania).

The objectives of the research carried on were: studying bibliography in this field; emphasizing the problems the region of Brasov confronts with from the point of view of the touristic development and the decisions which must be taken regarding these problems; highlighting the effects that tourism has on the region of Brasov from the economic, social and ecological point of view; evaluating the region's touristic potential: the analysis of the touristic activity which was made for the region of Brasov on a 10-year period of time; finding some evaluation methods of the touristic potential (as well as conceiving an individual evaluating method of the touristic offer for a region) and applying them on different areas from the region of Brasov; the comparative analysis of the evaluation method of the touristic potential made by different factors involved in tourism; the study of tourists' opinions, of the ones who offer touristic services and the local communities' that regard the touristic activities' effects on the concerned regions; establishing the most attractive areas of the researched touristic region; analyzing the way the touristic potential is exploited; establishing the touristic development phase of the touristic areas in the present, as the considered references show (Buttler, Plog, Miossec, Gormsen, Thurot, etc.) (Pearce, 1995.), and emphasizing the causes which had as effects the decline of the areas studied; establishing the means to balance the touristic flow and by this means, warranting the sustainable touristic development; finding areas alike which should ensure demand distribution. Avoiding the damage of "touristic attractiveness" of areas like Poiana Brasov, Bran, etc.; showing the support potential through classic methods and emphasizing the problematic areas; analyzing the opinions of those involved in tourism, concerning the sustainability problem in this field; conceiving scenarios of sustainable touristic development, suitable from the managerial point of view; suggesting some developing strategies of touristic sustainability in the region of Brasov, which should help at implementing the principles of sustainable tourism and so, at obtaining economic, social and ecologic benefits for the entire region.

3. THE METHODOLOGY USED IN THE RESEARCH

The methods herein used were different and matched the established objectives previously presented. That is why in the undertaken research there were used the following methods: bibliographic documentation, theoretical analysis, experiment, by simulating imaginary situations, statistical analysis, descriptive and investigation methods, specific to the marketing research, content analysis applied both for mass media and touristic literature of advertisement. The systems mathematical modelling and the process simulation were used in conceiving some strategies of sustainable touristic development. Sustainable development can be done only with and for people. Therefore, a fundamental constitutive part of whatever strategy is attitude management which needs an overseeing system to "measure" them (Albu, 2005).

4. THE MAIN RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH ON THE REGION OF BRASOV

Along with other branches of the economy, (for example, agriculture) tourism is one of the economic fields which directly depends on sustainable management. There is no tourist who would like to spend his/her holidays in a natural polluted, degraded, unattractive and unfriendly place, with a hostile local population. Tourism focuses on what is special, beautiful, precious or unique. That is why tourism depends very much on pure natural beauties, on friendly and positive attitude of local communities. Those who benefit from the touristic activities should not be only the tourists and the ones who offer touristic services, but also the inhabitants of different destinations who can notice in the region the beneficial touristic development through: modernization of general infrastructure, increase in the jobs offer, rise of life quality, etc. Because of the presented arguments, we strongly believe that tourism can indubitably become an example of sustainable development strategy, and the players involved in the touristic activity should be directly concerned with its implementation. The sustainable touristic development strategy can be called according to Pils, a classical "win-win" strategy (Pils, 1999), for all those who are involved, in a way or another, in this process, and, according to the same author, Europe and the region of Brasov, in our opinion, need a sustainable development of tourism. The management of sustainable touristic development must focus at regional level on the problems regarding traffic, transport, use of land, consumption of water and energy, pollution of environment factors and the way waste is handled. It is desirable that these preoccupations materialize by defining and introducing an explicit set of things which must be done in order to help at reaching the desired goal of sustainability, to involve a great number of groups of interest in decisional procedures and all these should go together with information and education campaigns concerning all the factors involved in tourism. The implementation of sustainable touristic development strategy results in profit for all the factors involved in tourism--tourists, host communities, touristic industry and environment--through: more attractive destinations for tourists; prosperity for host communities (a better living standard); capitalization of touristic resources on a longer period of time, with repercussions on the profits obtained from the touristic activities carried out in a certain touristic region (or by a certain enterprise); last but not least, it would consist of protecting the environment as an essential condition to ensure the development on a long term.

5. PERSONAL CONTRIBUTIONS

The scientific grounding of the sustainable touristic development management of Brasov region; the highlight of tourism effects on the region of Brasov from the economic, social and ecologic point of view; the identification of some alternative types of tourism which could be promoted in the region of Brasov (ecotourism, tourism based on local communities, Pro Poor Tourism-PPT); the identification of areas with similar touristic capacities from the region of Brasov (Bran's area--Piatra Craiului, Bunloc area in Sacele--Piatra Mare, Poiana Brasov) and the suggestion of demand homogenization by redirecting touristic flows in order to ensure sustainable touristic development of the region; the evaluation of touristic possibilities, essential for a sustainable touristic development through accepted methods (the analysis of the evolution of touristic activity for a 10-year period of time); the conceiving of an individual evaluation method of the touristic possibilities of a region and its implementation in four distinctive areas of the region of Brasov (Bran's area--Piatra Craiului, Bunloc area in Sacele--Piatra Mare, Brasov city, Poiana Brasov; the comparative analysis of the touristic possibilities evaluation in the different factors' opinion that are involved in tourism; the study of attitudes and actions of the factors involved in tourism by using instruments characteristic to marketing research concerning sustainable touristic development issues: employees in tourism (tourism agencies' employees); owners of pensions; tourists; local communities; the suggestion of some sustainable touristic development strategies for Brasov region which should ease the implementation of sustainable tourism principles and the gain of economic, ecologic and social benefits for the entire region; the establishment of some possible situations of sustainable touristic development of the analysed areas (Albu, 2005).

6. CONCLUSIONS

Sustainable tourism should have at its foundation the partnership of different decisional factors involved in. In order to have a sustainable tourism, we recommend: conceiving some touristic development plans which should fit to generously proportioned regional backgrounds and should not be limited at concentrated regional territories; avoiding isolated actions of partial, segmented development which exclude sustainable tourism; the achievement of touristic equipment should be according to the local environment, using traditional construction materials; developing a new non-polluting silent public transport that uses alternative energy sources; organising some types of holidays demanding reduced energy expenses, to use the existing resources as little as possible and to contribute to the environment's preservation; finding some clear explanations which should make both the tourists and the local population be aware of how sustainable tourism is put into practice. In the future, we aim at extending the area of research in the neighbouring regions of Brasov in order to ensure sustainable touristic development at regional level. We wish that this research be an inspiration in the development of new evaluation methods of touristic potential, useful not only for scientists, students or authorities involved in developing tourism, but also to those who have already started to value this potential by making business in this field.

7. REFERENCES

Albu, R.G. (2005). Sustainable Tourism Management at Regional Level. Theory and Applications, Infomarket, ISBN 973-8204-682, Brasov (RO)

Naisbitt J. (1989). Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives, Politica, ISBN: 973-28-0028-3, Bucharest (RO)

Pearce, D. (1995). Tourism Today. A Geographical Analysis, Longman Scientific & Technical, ISBN 9780582228221, Harlow

Pils, M.(1999). Position paper of the International Friends of Nature on the role of tourism in the context of sustainable development. Presented to the seventh meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-7) in New York, http://csdngo.igc.org/tourism/tour_ifn.htm, Accessed: 2009-09-29

***Leader II, Evaluating a territory's touristic potential, http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rur/leader2/ruralen/biblio/touris/metho.pdf, Accessed:2009-09-29
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Author:Albu, Ruxandra-Gabriela
Publication:Annals of DAAAM & Proceedings
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EUAU
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Words:1907
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