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Title: Sustainable tourism development in Northern Cyprus : A case study of the Karpaz region
Author: Gunsoy, Esra
ISNI:       0000 0004 2694 2960
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2010
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The development of sustainable tourism has recently emerged as a key factor for the Northern Cyprus tourism industry. Discourses and practices of sustainable tourism have become central to the development of the Karpaz region because of its relatively unspoilt nature and wellpreserved traditional lifestyle. On the other hand, since sustainable tourism is a quite new concept in Northern Cyprus, it has attracted limited research attention. In this vein, my research will be the first that explores the sustainable tourism development practices in the Karpaz region from a political ecology perspective. Furthermore, my research will make an important contribution to knowledge in tourism studies by specifically addressing the relationship between significant actors in order to understand the relationship between tourism development, society and environment by taking into consideration unequal power relations and conflicting interests of key actors/stakeholders. Finally, reviewing the literature demonstrates that tourism literature lacks studies in the field of investigating sustainability of tourism development policies at destinations by taking into consideration socio-cultural issues; thus my research will make a significant contribution to knowledge by addressing cultural issues while investigating the ways in which society uses its power to shape development. A qualitative research approach was employed and fieldwork was undertaken primarily in Buyukkonuk and Dipkarpaz villages of the Karpaz region due to the incteasingpopularity of these villages with sustainable tourism discourses and practices. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather information from over thirty respondents from the public, private and education sectors and from NGOs. Furthermore, focus groups and informal conversations were used in order to gather information from community members of the region. These interview data were supported by participant observation and published documentary data in newspapers, magazines and on internet sites. The study found out that sustainable tourism development policies have changed with changes at the governmental level since sustainability has different meanings for different stakeholders. Moreover, conflicting attitudes between different community residents towards tourism development were found due to the cultural differences between the immigrant and Turkish Cypriot residents. Finally, the research also found that the loss of `Cypriotness' in the face of immigrant culture and the issue of cultural and environmental commoditisation in light of capitalist mentalities have increasingly challenged the sustainability of tourism development in the Karpaz region. Keywords: sustainable tourism, Northern Cyprus, the Karpaz region, political ecology, community development, festivals, culture, social identity
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available