Title Clustering in Tourism and Its Impact on Regional Development (Clustering Potential in Ayvalik and the AYTUGEB Example)
Authors Ayhan GÖKDENİZ
Abstract When the tourism activities in Turkey are considered as a whole, it can be argued that diversity in tourism has not been achieved so far in the country. The majority of tourism-related activities are obviously concentrated in the Marmara, Aegean, and Mediterranean regions, without much diversification in terms of the types of such activities. However, thanks to the tourism potential in other areas of Turkey, combined with the right promotion and marketing activities to be accomplished, tourism can be one of the priority sectors for development in these regions, as well. Tourism clusters can stimulate tourism potential in these regions. Rendering clustering in tourism the focus of development in these regions can reduce costs in the industry, increase the sector’s profitability, and thereby, increase the revenues derived from tourism. Increased regional incomes as well as the development of tourism and related sectors may increase local employment in these regions. Increased competitiveness will be another advantage that could bring more tourists to these regions. These developments are just a few of the benefits of tourism clusters in regional development. With its cultural and natural structures, Ayvalik is one of the most important tourism centers of the North-West Aegean Region and Turkey. The natural beauty, beaches, historic and cultural venues, climate, and islands of Ayvalik make this district one of those with the highest tourism potential. Apart from the natural beauties of the district, the urban fabrics composed of neo-classical examples of civil architecture in the Ayvalik town center and on the Ali Bey Island also enrich the tourism supply in this region. The Ayvalik Tourism Development and Infrastructure Service Association (AYTUGEB) is a tourism association established in 2009 under the Associations of Local Governments Act No. 5355. The Assembly of the Association consists of 18 members whereas the Association Council is composed of seven individuals. AYTUGEB is a regional tourism association that incorporates and represents 19 tourist hotels, 38 boutique hotels, nine municipality-certified hotels, five travel agencies, 16 day-trip boats belonging to three yachting companies, 16 restaurants highlighting the local cuisine, and four scuba diving schools. The association has identified its main activity area as clustering in tourism to ensure further development and improvement of tourism in Ayvalik and in the region as a whole, with particular emphasis on local employment, and has managed and completed four significant projects so far through and with support from Development Agencies.
Keywords Clustering in Tourism, Regional Development, Ayvalik and AYTUGEB
Journal IJSES - International Journal of Social and Economic Sciences
Issue Issue 1
Page 037-048
Year 2015
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