THE PROSPECTS OF ECOTOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN BORJOMI - KHARAGAULI NATIONAL PARK

M. O. Azmaiparashvili, T.K. Patarkalashvili, L.D. Kvaratskhelia

Abstract


The Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is one of the largest national parks not only in Georgia, but in Europe too. The park was endorsed and created with the support of the World Wildlife Fund and the German government in 1995 and was officially inaugurated in 2001. In 2007 the park became a member of PAN (Protected Area Network). The particular uniqueness of the park, along with its location and climate, is the diversity of geographical and ecological zones. The park is famous  for its beautiful landscapes, historical monuments and diverse fl ora and fauna. The major part of the park is covered with coniferous and deciduous forests. At the border of western Georgia grew species characteristic to Colchic flora. We monitored the process of secure touristic management in those parts of the park, which are mostly endangered by visitors. As it was find out, according to existed standards, the optimal loading of places takes place in mid-mountain forest zone. The touristic-recreational capacity on one hectare of forested area in this zone is two visitor a day, in forestless places less. By theoretical calculations touristic-recreational loading on one hectare/an year is more than existing norms, but destructive adverse loading from visitors’side wasn’t observed. On contrary, such destructive actions was noticed from indigenous people, who use perspective touristic territories for agricultural purposes. In places mostly visited by tourists the reduction of rare forest species takes place. Еhe main principles of sustainable ecotourism development are not maintained and the administration of the park should undertake decisive measures to improve the situation.


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References


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