Author(s): Nevzat GUMUS
Ecotourism has been on the rise in terms of popularity in recent years, and attracted a lot attention in developed countries in particular. The essence of ecotourism is to learn about historic and cultural values with a focus on respecting nature and ecology, get away from the stress caused by urban life, and rest in naturally preserved areas. The Cehennem Deresi Canyon in the Ardanuc district of the Artvin province was selected as the study area as it is among places where ecotourism may develop. Although the study area has high potential in terms of ecotourism, the number of studies revealing this potential is limited. The purpose of this study is to reveal the ecotourism potential of the Cehennem Deresi Canyon in the Ardanuc district of the Artvin province using SWOT analysis. The qualitative descriptive analysis method was employed in the study. SWOT analysis and visual resource assessment were performed to determine strengths and weaknesses of the study area. Maps of various scales, satellite images, photographs, and site observations were utilized to analyze the study area. The ecotourism potential of the study area was assessed and recommendations were made to open the area for tourism activities and ensure sustainable ecotourism in the area. Initiation of ecotourism activities in the Cehennem Deresi Canyon in Ardanuc will allow Turkey and Artvin to have their share from the income generated from ecotourism which has been becoming more and more popular throughout the world. The study is expected to pave the way for similar studies in future.