Consumer profile and recreational demand structure of Arab tourists using forest recreation areas of Trabzon province
Authors: Nur DİKTAŞ BULUT, İsmet DAŞDEMİR
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Trabzon province attracts foreign tourists from Arab countries, and forest recreation areas are used extensively. This study aimed to determine the consumer profile, recreational use of forest resources, user and recreational demand characteristics for recreational areas, and consumer preferences and expectations of Arab tourists coming to Trabzon. In the study, a face-to-face survey was conducted with the random sampling method for 400 Arab tourists using 10 forest recreation areas in Trabzon. In the survey, questions such as visitor characteristics of foreign tourists, use of forest resources, recreational suitability, deficiencies, and reasons for site preference were included. The obtained data were evaluated with descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and the Duncan test. According to the analyzes and evaluations, it was found that approximately 83% of Arab tourists coming to Trabzon for forest recreation tourism came from Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Iraq. The most common activities in forest recreation areas were determined as walking on forest roads, chilling, watching the scenery, taking fresh air, and taking pictures. The reasons considered very important for the preference of forest recreation areas by Arab tourists were determined natural and aesthetic values, the beauty of forests, and clean and cold water to drink, respectively. The most important variables affecting the utilization of forest recreation areas are inadequate facilities and services (4 points), environmental pollution (3.41 points), crowdedness (3.38 points), adverse weather conditions (3.34 points), noise pollution (3,12 points), security (2.86 points), transportation problem (2.59 points), and inadequate pandemic measures (1.35 points). In addition, the demand for forest recreation areas differs at 95% confidence level according to age, gender, education, family size, natural and aesthetic values, clean and cold water, the beauty of forests, tour program, friend recommendation, desire to be alone with nature, pandemic measures, lack of another place to go around the city, pollution situation, promotion and facility, and service adequacy. In the study, some suggestions were made for the sustainable management of forest recreation areas, increasing the quality of recreational services, tourist satisfaction, and tourism development for Arab tourists.