Where is Bodrum? Essay Example
Bodrum, Turkey offers an important and meaningful level of tourism for its visitors and for the local residents who work within this industry. It is important to identify the advantages and benefits of this locale for tourists and how tourism impacts the potential planning of vacationers throughout the world. Turkey is bordered by Syria, Iran, Iraq, and the Balkans, and the population of this nation is approximately 75 million residents (Bodrum.org, 2015). Turkey’s land mass is almost equivalent to that of the United Kingdom and France combined, and the area known as the Aegean region is largely fertile and possesses significant farming opportunities, including cotton, vegetables, olives, tobacco, grapes, oranges, and lemons, among others (Bodrum.org, 2015). This region is also comprised of three of the most prolific Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (Bodrum.org, 2015). Bodrum is situated on the southwest coast of Turkey, and it is located near Kos, a Greek island (Bodrum.org, 2015). This area is highly attractive to tourists because of its picturesque coastline, ideal climate conditions, and close distance to many historical sites (Bodrum.org, 2015).
Bodrum is largely attractive to tourists from around the world because of its beautiful beaches and its other attractive characteristics. In addition, this area “has seen a boom in development catering to both party-hungry tourists and peace-seeking retirees. But with its hodgepodge of bright, bougainvillea-draped buildings, palm-fringed avenues, castle-dominated skyline, beautiful marina and some tasteful city planning, Bodrum has managed to preserve more of its old charm than other Turkish resort destinations” (Jackson, 2015). From this perspective, Bodrum is highly attractive within the tourism community because it provides its visitors with many different options, and these reflect the importance of understanding the environment within this region and why it is attractive to visitors (Jackson, 2015). It is important to identify some of the challenges facing this region and what is required to achieve the desired economic goals and objectives for the foreseeable future.
Bodrum: Fruitful Site for Tourism?
Within Bodrum, there are significant opportunities for the tourism industry to experience different types of growth and evolution. In 2013, a report was released by Deolitte, which noted the following: “Turkey derives value from almost every sub-segment of tourism. It can provide a rich variety of options; from convention offerings to golf tourism; from mountain resorts and winter sports to halal tourism… The Turkish tourism industry has grown more than the global travel and tourism industry. The direct contribution of the travel and tourisms industry to the GDP has been TL 57.5 billion and the total number of international visitor arrivals was more than 31.5 million tourists” (P. 5). This information demonstrates that Turkey is in a highly competitive position to achieve greater growth and to be successful in its efforts to remain a popular tourist attraction for the foreseeable future (Deliotte, 2013). It is important to identify the specific factors that contribute to the success of the tourism industry in Turkey, specifically within Bodrum. Success is best evaluated through a greater focus on growth and development within this sector.
The continued development and growth of tourism in Bodrum also requires a number of areas of expansion in the coming years so that this growth is sustainable, and this is best achieved through an increased level of investment with respect to local accommodations to attract tourists to this area (Deloitte, 2013). As this area continues to grow in popularity, the number of hotels and other accommodations must also continue to grow at a high level in order to meet the needs and expectations of the economy and to be successful in retaining high tourism rates in the coming years (Deloitte, 2013). Therefore, the ability to meet the demand for accommodations must be aligned with the supply level that is available to local residents (Deloitte, 2013). From this perspective, it is important to demonstrate the value of these conditions and to be proactive in aiming towards specific goals and objectives that will improve outcomes for local residents, including greater economic security and stability for local workers who are employed by the tourism industry (Deloitte, 2013). However, some research underscores the impossibility of sustainable tourism in the region.
Many important destination locales in the Mediterranean have faced various obstacles and problems related to mass tourism, especially in littoral cities where mass tourism has devolved into a declining rather than lucrative process. Moreover, alternative tourism methodologies, planning on the littoral, and increasing quality have emerged as the primary strategies for the necessary solutions (Geziki & Alkay, 2006). Developing tourism in Bodrum poses various threats to sustainable tourism. Fallacious marketing schemes, encouraging various construction projects along the littoral communities, and transcending development thresholds all present herculean threats to tourism in Bodrum in the near future (Geziki & Alkay, 2006). Examining how tourism effects various dimensions such as the social and economic structures, regional identity, and natural environment must be considered in order to develop working development models for tourism in Bodrum in the future.
Social Impact of Tourism in Bodrum
Within the fabric of the tourism industry, it is important to identify areas where there have been significant waves of growth that support the integration of historical offerings with modern tourism principles (Ecemis & Aydogan, 2009). However, challenges have also occurred with respect to the need for additional insight regarding the overall objectives of the tourism industry and what is required to meet expectations within the local community (Ecemis & Aydogan, 2009). Due to the historical nature of Turkey and many of its geographic areas, there is considerable controversy surrounding the development of a framework that supports history combined with the tourist state: “The historical fabrics of the coastal settlements with a touristic identity such as Bodrum, Side, etc. have been demolished equally to the historical fabrics remaining in the large city centers. In this period, many touristic areas have begun to lose their authentic qualities that made them distinguished and unique and have started to adopt new artificial qualities. Even though a multiple storey structuring demand is non-existent, the intensity of demands and the spatial changes required by tourism have led to the loss of perceiving the historical fabrics of these settlements with their distinctive qualities” (Ecemis & Aydogan, 2009, p. 86). From this perspective, it is important to note that there are significant opportunities to advance the principles of tourism while also developing a balance with the rich history that exists within the region (Ecemis & Aydogan, 2009). This is often very difficult to achieve in areas where tourism continues to grow because there is a much greater need for accommodations and other service offerings to support tourists who wish to visit areas such as Bodrum and take in the sites while they are there (Ecemis & Aydogan, 2009). Moreover, it requires a delicate balance to be drawn between the demand for accommodations and other alternatives to support tourism, but to also aim to preserve the land within the community that will provide much interest and enthusiasm for tourists.
In order to effectively address both issues, the residents living in Bodrum must recognize the importance of tourism to the local economy, while also considering other factors that may have an impact on the community over the long term. It is important for the city to identify the benefits of tourism and how it has contributed to the growth of the community and its overall economic potential. Doing so will reflect the importance of new ideas to optimize the history that is present in addition to the space that is required to accommodate tourists as they arrive (Ecemis & Avodgan, 2009). This process is instrumental in evaluating how the tourism industry within Bodrum has achieved its level of success and what is required to ensure that this phenomenon continues for the foreseeable future (Ecemis & Avodgan, 2009). Within this area, there are many different forces at work that have been largely instrumental in advancing the agenda of the community and in supporting a high degree of tourism; however, this also requires an effective understanding of what is available within the community and how to preserve it for as long as possible, particularly when it has a high degree of historical significance (Ecemis & Avodgan, 2009). The authors indicate that “the tourist increases the pressure on the delicate environment and may be seen as a threat to the continuity of the cultural and societal social unity. Yet, tourism is also an opportunity… while the development of tourism activities are encouraged in a historical settlement “the effects tourism may have on this settlement’s cultural heritage, cultural elements, activities and dynamics should be taken into account” (Ecemis & Avodgan, 2009, p. 88). From this perspective, it is evident that the ability to evaluate the characteristics of tourism to preserve the local environment is of critical importance; however, it is also evident that there are other factors that must be considered that will have a favorable impact on the local community, rather than dampen its progress to date (Ecemis & Avodgan, 2009). Assessing the impact of tourism on the local community and culture elucidates both the benefits and drawbacks of tourism from a social and cultural standpoint. The influx of tourisms and burgeoning tourism industry in Bodrum has ultimately resulted in the slow demise of local cultures and traditions in order to accommodate the desires and tastes of foreign travelers. The construction of new, attractive facilities including spas, golf courses, and hotels spawned cultural changes due to the increased demand of such services.
Economic Impact of Tourism
Tourism activities in the Mediterranean are concentrated on the littoral where various cultural and natural attractions entice foreign tourists. As such, tourism provides a powerful engine for economic growth in the region by transferring income, employment, and capital from other urban, developed, and industrial locales to a relatively less developed and non-industrial region (Geziki et al. 2006). It is unequivocal that the development of tourism has both positive and negative effects on Bodrum’s economy. Various tests assessing the impact of tourism on the economy is favorable in comparison to the other arenas that tourism affects (Geziki & Alkay, 2006). Examining the socio-economic transformation wrought by tourism in Bodrum underscores the possibilities the tourism industry has in boosting the economy of a thriving city in the Mediterranean by actively encouraging development. Situated on the coasts, Bodrum attracts droves of tourists every year because of its historical, cultural, and natural appeal, which accelerates processes or urbanization and increases the population by ten times during certain seasons (Geziki & Alkay, 2006). According to the official Bodrum guide (2015), approximately 131,000 denizens reside permanently in Bodrum. However, the population vastly increases during summer because of tourism (Bodrum Information, 2015). Examining tourism in Bodrum from a micro- and macro- economics approach, it is evident how integral tourism is to driving not only the city’s economy but also the national economy of Turkey.
The concentration of Turkey’s tourist activities takes place on the littoral cities such as Bodrum, which is evident in the proliferation of hotels constructed on the coasts of Turkey. Tourist demands have propelled investors to greatly develop the coastal region. Data procured by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (2003) provides the number of tourists that visited Bodrum, the occupation rates of the hotels, how many nights tourists spent in Bodrum, among other statistics (2003). Economic investments in tourism exponentially increased when the Law for Encouragement of Tourism was enacted in 1982, as it increased incentives for investment. Locales like Bodrum already had great potential for tourism and ample infrastructure for further development through the construction of tourism complexes on a much larger scale (Geziki & Alkay, 2006). As such, it is unequivocal that the major economic activity and stimulant in Bodrum is tourism. As one of the most popular holiday destination and resort in Turkey, Bodrum offers a great experience for families from all social backgrounds. However, mainly families from well-to-do backgrounds and royal families from around the world vacation and stay at the grand resorts on the coastal city (“Bodrum Info,” 2015). This fact is buttressed by the fact that many tourists visit Bodrum via their yachts, a privilege usually reserved for the rich and wealthy. Nonetheless, index values analysis suggest that the level of socio-economic develop increases when parameters related to tourism are factored into the equation. For Bodrum, tourist development occurs spontaneously with the construction of a diverse array of accommodation facilities, including small hotels, 5-star hotels, and pensions, thereby allowing for a longer stay (Geziki & Alkay, 2006). Proximity to an airport positively contributes to high touristic activity (Geziki & Alkay, 2006). Indeed, Bodrum’s development patterns suggest that developers embrace the assumption that regions that are more socio-economically developed become greater tourist attractions, which is why develop occurs more frequently and quickly as a ramification of tourism.
Geziki et al. (2006) conducted a study analyzing how tourism in Bodrum both positively and negatively impacted the macro-economic structure in the city because it is one of the primary coastal destinations for tourists. Assessing both benefits and drawbacks of developing tourism in Bodrum is significant for future plans in advancing the tourism industry there. The authors hypothesized that “tourism has some positive economic impact such as income increase, job creation, multiple effect to the other sectors, while the increasing value of land and housing price might be threats for future of region and tourism” (Geziki et al., 2006). Both qualitative and quantitative data was gleaned from various questionnaires regarding twenty one different variables, and statistical analysis also ensued. Out of eleven perceptional variable, seven of them among welfare and urban macro-economy suggested a positive impact on tourist development: “contribution of tourism facilities to development”; “tourism-dependent rise in income”; tourism-dependent rise in employment opportunities”; “tourism-dependent economic boom in agriculture”; “tourism-dependent economic boom in construction sector”; “economic contribution by summer houses”; and “type of allocated urban functions” (Geziki et al., 2006). In addition, five out of the eleven variables within the demographic profile in Bodrum such as place of birth, age, size of household, number of employment, and foreign language all retained positive relations. However, the drawbacks of tourism development was reflected in categories including “tourism-dependent rise in housing prices,” “land ownership”, “allocation of land to urban functions,” and “tourism-dependent rise in land values,” all of which yielded negative effects and outcomes (Geziki & Alkay et al., 2006).
Thus, tourism effective increasing the level of income in addition to the possibilities for employment. In areas where there is favorable demographic potential, tourism positive impacts the economy. The primary contribution of tourism to Bodrum’s settlement economy is primarily via means of invigorating the construction sector, which adversely impacts development. Escalating land values and housing prices–components associated with urban values–adversely impact tourist development in Bodrum because the cost of living increases in conjunction, thereby profoundly threatening sustainability in the region. Bodrum retains high accessibility because of its littoral location and proximity to an airport, yet accessibility within the peninsula itself remains problematic. These various effects and relations demonstrate which factors impact tourism development in relation to environmental and socio-economic development in Bodrum.
Tourism in Bodrum yields a litany of positive and negative effects on the local community and society. Not only does it open up new employment opportunities for locals, it also promotes cultural awareness and facilitates in helping to preserve local practices, traditions, and culture (Jackson, 2015). Tourism also brings in income that can in turn be used to develop local services and infrastructure, such as more airports and paved roads. Moreover, tourism brings in money that can be spent on enhancing sanitation, clean water, and creating more opportunities for education. Foreign currency infiltrating the local economy gives it a necessary boost. However, the downside of tourism and its impact on the local community is that local become employed in poorly paid, low-skilled, menial work in unacceptable working conditions. Airline companies, travel agents, and hoteliers benefit far more from tourism that the local people do from an economic standpoint.
Environmental Impact of Tourism in Bodrum
While tourism boosts Bodrum’s economy in various ways, it also sharply increases the value of the land, which spawns a desire for natural resources, including the forest areas and the coast. Developing permits are doled out on areas and spaces that need to be preserved for ecological sustainability purposes (Geziki & Alkay, 2006). Mass tourism along the littoral cities in Turkey such as Bodrum requires various questionable environmental practices, including land speculation, dense construction, and environmental pollution, causing profound environmental degradation and deterioration. While certain locales have already vastly deteriorated, new tourist destinations in the region have emerged (Geziki & Alkay, 2006). Nonetheless, tourism along the coast remains popular and attractive because of the advantageous climate and the triple threat of the “sea-sun-sand” (Geziki & Alkay, 2006, p. 274). Moreover, tourism impacts the local people by bringing in income that can be used to protect natural features that often entice foreigners to visit Bodrum in the first place. When cogitating about the future of coastal tourist destinations, environmental concerns must be considered because of how profoundly tourism impacts the local economy. If the historical, cultural, and natural environment cannot be safeguarded, then tourism cannot be a sustainable enterprise in the region. Planned development represents one viable way in which the loss of natural resources is reduced both in terms of quality and quantity. As such, tourism in Bodrum through planned development represents one avenue through which the local environment can be beautified while also preserving its various assets over other economic activities (Geziki & Alkay, 2006). Research shows that Bodrum has hitherto faced increased pressure and escalating environmental problems that have intensified over the years. As such, Bodrum represents a fruitful site for studying a destination on the littoral that is faced with threats to future tourism in the popular region.
Examining the threats of sustainability of the tourism industry in Bodrum elucidates how the tourism industry contributes to environmental degradation in the region. The primary threats include sea pollution, a deteriorated coastline, “an increasingly built up environment,” the erosion of vegetation, and the depreciation of archeological locales (Geziki & Alkay, 2006, p. 278). Because Bodrum has emerged as an immensely popular entertainment holiday center urban space has dwindled due to various construction projects, thereby increasing the land pressure within the peninsula (Geziki & Alkay, 2006, p. 275). Geziki et al. (2006) conducted a study in which they analyzed which development model for tourism is optimal for economic, socio-cultural, and environmental sustainability. Results show that underwater archaeology and archaeology both benefit from tourism development, while original architecture and coastal features are negatively impacted (Geziki & Alkay, 2006, p. 280). These results suggest two models for development in Bodrum: the first focuses on the threats to cultural values, the environment, and regional identity; the second paradigm pinpoints the lack of meaningful contribution tourism actually makes to Bodrum’s local economy (Geziki & Alkay, 2006, p. 281). Tourism adversely impacts the environment at the micro and macro levels. Tourism spawns increased air travel, which causes more carbon dioxide emissions around the globe. At the local level, natural features that entice tourists to visit Bodrum are also threatened by various anthropogenic activities.
Tourism plays an integral role in Bodrum’s economy and profoundly impacts both the social and environmental arenas, yet major threats to the sustainability of the industry there persist. Increasing land values represents the primary threat to tourism there, in addition to various environmentally degrading practices necessary to support a burgeoning industry. The continuity of tourism contributing to the economy depends on what strategies are being used to develop the region in light of the threats present by various modes of development. Indeed, there is little doubt that tourism immensely impacts the economic welfare of denizens in Bodrum. The ramifications of tourism, however, remain dubious when viewing them through a macro-economics prism as well as through an urban values lens. Tourism invigorates various economic sectors, especially construction, which spawns higher real estate prices. Moreover, the coast and forested areas have become concentrated with new buildings and complexes for tourists to visit and sojourn in. While tourism positively impacts the socio-economic development in Bodrum, alternative strategies for attracting tourists to the peninsula must be ascertained.
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