Recreational and ecological assessment of a tourist territory - a case study of the Byala Cherkva area in the Rhodopi forest park
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Author: Krasimir Aleksandrov, Ekaterina Valcheva
The study at hand has the goal to discover and assess the recreational and environmental opportunities for the development of long- and short-term recreation within the tourist territories of the Byala Cherkva area, forest park Rhodopi, municipality of Kouklen. Each and every separate element of the natural environment has a different share in the development of recreation. The recreational impact of these elements is determined primarily by the extent of their territorial and functional complexity. These elements, based on a detailed assessment, define the potential opportunities for formation of individual recreational territorial units. The study shows that there are very good conditions for the development of the territory of forest park Rhodopi, Byala Cherkva as a tourist complex of regional and national significance. The altitude, the slope of the terrain, the geographical exposure - all of those contribute to the defining of the areas suitable for both summer and winter vacationing. The thickness and persistence of the snow cover are taken into account for the development of winter sports. The Byala Cherkva area is well suited for the development of winter sports. There is almost no risk of avalanches compared to other winter resorts in this part of the Rhodopi mountains. This should be taken into great consideration. The construction of 6-7 ski tracks should be considered in the long run. And in the meantime the construction of a new ski track Byala Cherkva 2 – 1000 m long, should also be considered. This will increase the combined length of ski tracks to 2100 m, with a total capacity for 382 people. The development of winter tourism in the Byala Cherkva area, forest park Rhodopi will be an additional alternative regarding income and new employment opportunities. There is a real possibility for the development of eco and sightseeing tourism during summer.

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