The last couple of months were quite exciting, but also exhausting for two of our team members – Maria Mileva and Giovanni Nikolov. They made an attempt to examine spatially the conflict between nature conservation and tourism industry in the region of Burgas, Bulgaria. Finding the right data for the research was obstructed by certain national institutions who didn’t give access to it, but still the analysis resulted in interesting findings that shed some light on the spatial distribution of the tourism/nature conservation conflict in Burgas.

The research was part of a Master thesis defence project within the programme MSc in Environmental and Resource Management at Syddansk Universitet – Esbjerg. You can check out the abstract below and download the actual report from the hyperlink at the end of the page.

Coastal zones are characterized with a richness of natural ecosystems and resources, which are highly attractive for the tourism industry. The conflicting interests of nature conservationists and the tourism industry are often exacerbated in biodiversity hotspot of regional and global importance. The economic power of the tourism sector has resulted in rapid development and urbanization of the coasts in Burgas region. Coastal tourism has been and continues to be an important part of the regional economy, but does it follow a sustainable path of development? This study examines the development of tourism and nature conservation in Bulgaria, with a focus on Burgas region. Unfortunately, sometimes the development of tourism leads to diverse and severe environmental impacts affecting many species. The study involves mixed methods – qualitative and quantitative analysis in order to examine whether this holds true in the region of Burgas. A survey with experts is employed in order to gather qualitative data that enhances the understanding of the research context. The insight from this data is used in a subsequent spatial analysis of the tourism industry in Burgas district. The last part of the research involves three focus groups who rank the ecological and tourist attractiveness attributes of each tourism node and outline a strategy for their sustainable development.

Link for download of a pdf-version of the document here: MilevaMaria_NikolovGiovanni_2017_Master_Thesis

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