Geotourism and Rural Tourism Synergy for Sustainable DevelopmentMarcik Valley CaseTunceli, Turkey

Ates H. C. , Ates Y.

GEOHERITAGE, vol.11, no.1, pp.207-215, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12371-018-0312-1
  • Journal Name: GEOHERITAGE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.207-215
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


Geotourism is a lesser-known but flourishing branch of general tourism based on traveling and enjoyment of a place with unique geological character. Geotourism makes it possible for the present generations to benefit from a treasury of nature and protects it for future generations to use. Its activities are compatible with the rural tourism activities, which is a type of tourism that complements elements of rural culture, natural environment, and agriculture. The aim of this study is to examine some unique geological structures in the Marcik Valley of Tunceli province in Turkey and evaluate their potential for geotourism. SWOT analysis and defined categories technique, both widely used in strategic planning, are used. The valley is evaluated for its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and possible threats in the context of geotourism and rural tourism. Many natural formations with unique geological character are identified in the valley; such as formations resembling fairy chimneys, a field with accumulated fossils, geothermal waters, hanging valleys, and waterfalls provide the area with a potential for geotourism development. There is also a potential for more versatile rural tourism, as the main river valley and its surroundings are suitable for development of small beaches, rafting, mountaineering, and organic agricultureall in a region with unspoiled environment. Currently, development plans involving local dynamics are lacking and should be prepared with a participatory and holistic approach for the purpose of sustainable development involving geotourism and rural tourism.