DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2014/B52/S20.002

AN EVALUATION MATRIX FOR ECOTOURISM POTENTIAL IN CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF PROTECTED AREAS IN ROMANIA. CASE STUDIES: NATIONAL PARC, NATURE PARC, GEOPARK

M. Clius,M. Patroescu
Wednesday 1 October 2014 by Libadmin2014

References: 14th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2014, www.sgem.org, SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-18-6 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 19-25, 2014, Book 5, Vol. 2, 9-16 pp

ABSTRACT
The ecotourism potential`s evaluation of protected areas defines one main management objective for interested administrations, thus allowing the production of certain tools of intervention for the benefit of species and habitat protection, especially considering those of community interest, as well as for the guidance of educational activities and tourist inflows. According to IUCN, a protected area beholds the purpose of long term nature conservation, of environmental services and associated cultural values. The Romanian legislation (Law 49/2011) includes elaborated directions of intervention, particularly: protection of plants and animals, of bio-geographical formations, of landscape, geo-diversity, paleontological formations, caves or other structures, having a significant ecological, scientific or cultural value. The evaluation matrix of ecotourism potential depicts an intricate picture that allows the quantification of those elements which are required for protection, as well as those particularized in the Romanian legislations. They were grouped in two main categories: those associated with the natural heritage and those belonging to the cultural heritage. Each of them includes subcategories that re prioritized according to: attraction, accessibility, representation and uniqueness. In order to exemplify this matrix we selected three categories of protected areas which are located in south-western Romania, precisely: omogled- Cerna Valley National Park (DCVNP), “Iron Gates” Nature Park (IGNP) and ehedinţi Plateau Geopark (MPG). The entire surface covered by these three protected areas - aving joint boundaries - is of 176,972.5 ha, representing 0.74% of Romania`s territory. These are altogether part of Nature 2000 network and, beyond the community value of habitats and species, they stand out through natural landscape heritage values and unique cultural attributes that reflect the ethnical, historical and cultural diversity of the places they occupy or of surrounding spaces. This matrix could be reasoned as an analysis tool for other protected areas located on Romania`s territory.

Keywords: evaluation matrix, ecotourism potential, protected areas, strategies in
ecotourism, Romania