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Why Do So Few Local People Visit National Parks? Examining Constraints to Antalya’s National Parks, Turkey
Authors: Güney Çetinkaya, Mustafa Yıldız, Mehmet Ali Özçelik
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National parks are significant tourism and recreational areas that are widely used in many countries. Although such areas are widespread in Turkey, their resource value is underestimated. For this reason, this research aims to identify the constraints regarding local people’s use of national parks and investigate the effects of demographic features on these constraints. This research conducted in Antalya, which is the city with the most national park areas in Turkey. Mixed method approach was applied in this study. In the first stage, a sample of 100 people in Antalya were interviewed. In the second stage, a questionnaire was given to 2,367 people. The three-dimensional leisure constraints model was used as the study’s theoretical framework. The findings showed that lack of information/facilities (structural) was the main restriction on local people’s use of national parks, followed by accessibility/finance (structural), maintenance (structural), social (interpersonal) and individual/ psychological (intrapersonal) factors. Use of national parks was also affected by demographic features of sex, age, marital status, having a child, income and education level. In conclusion, the existence of structural constraints as dominant national park use is advantageous in constraint management. The Turkish national parks and the tourism authorities should therefore change their management strategies regarding this issue.