The tourism potential is not an easy concept to define, because the scientific community has not yet accepted uniform indicators for its measurement. The evaluation of the tourism potential of the protected territories has become of great economic and social importance. This study contributes to their evaluation by using a system of 0–3 assessments. The system includes the following parameters: location and transport accessibility; conservation; tourist attractiveness and popularity; accommodation facilities. The study explores the tourism potential of the Protected Areas in the region of Shoumen. However, the results show that their significant tourism potential is not effectively used. According to their tourism potential the protected territories in the Shoumen district can be divided into four groups: 1) of a very high potential; 2) of a high potential; 3) of a considerable potential; 4) of a limited potential. Out of all examined protected territories in the Shoumen district only the Shoumen Plateau Nature Park was assessed as „of a very high potential”. The results also showed that 3 protected areas were assessed as „of a high potential”, 9 – „of a considerable potential”, and 6 – „of a limited potential”. The opportunities for a better utilization of the tourism potential of the protected areas in the district of Shoumen through the development of youth, student and educational travel are recommended. The evaluation system used in this study could be applied for protected areas in other parts of the country.
Tourism potencial of the protected territories in the district of Shoumen