The Agritourism Potential of Aquaculture Farms in Romania

The Agritourism Potential of Aquaculture Farms in Romania

Zugravu Gheorghe Adrian (Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, Romania), Turek Rahoveanu Maria Magdalena (Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, Romania), Soare Ionica (Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, Romania) and Turek Adrian (Economy Research Institute for Agriculture and Rural Development, Romania)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/ijsem.2012070106
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Abstract

Agritourism, as an economic activity has gained its recognition and importance in the national economy because of the social role it plays due to the natural resources potential and also to the species biodiversity that are to be found in Romanian waters. In some isolated areas, such as the Danube Delta and the Danube Plain, fishing and agritourism are the main activities that provide jobs and income sources for local populations. The authors aim at analyzing the size and concentration of the agritourism as an economic activity in Romania and tackle the degree of specialization and concentration of this particular economic activity on the level of the studied region. The results of the research may bring an important contribution to reconsidering the agritourism potential in substantiating the regional and local development strategies.
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Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the tourism market size and forecast its development as an economic activity. Diversification of economic activities in rural areas can be considered an appropriate option or partial global level and conditions in rural areas, which requires knowledge of the area development stage, structure and capacity agritourism market. Economic crises in rural areas in the current stage, the concept of diversification by launching new dimension of economic activity, is also a means of economic and social transformation.

In some countries, user conflicts are a result of poorly defined rights over resources, where it may be unclear who owns the space and what uses they are entitled to exercise. As a result of this it can be difficult for individuals to enforce and protect their rights. To reduce the conflict between aquaculture and tourism groups in an area it is important to develop a clear policy for the rights of use across the competing users (Holland & Brown, 1998).

Evidence shows that conflicts have arisen in many countries and that there is often no straightforward solution to resolve the matter (Deniz, 2001). However, careful planning and control strategies, such as conflict resolution management, can be implemented to prevent conflicts from arising and minimise them if they occur.

The conflict between aquaculture and tourism can be magnified by competition for navigational area and associated facilities. Some resource users may consider that aquaculture interferes with efficient navigational systems (Holland & Brown, 1998).

Conflict between aquaculture and neighboring users of the resources is often caused by concerns that the development of aquaculture leads to an impact on the landscape character or a loss of visual amenity. This can be a result of building construction, above ground fish tanks, exposed plumbing, raft or rack structures, pontoons or floats, machinery, fencing and power lines (Holland & Brown, 1998).

International evidence is documented in Turkey where tourism is generally associated with hotels and second home areas. To be successful these require surroundings that are aesthetically pleasing and peaceful. Conflicts with aquaculture are often associated with the infrastructure that is located close to tourism areas (Deniz, 2001). Ponds, tanks, cages, waste-processing plants, store sheds and construction materials are believed to have a deleterious effect upon the environmental quality of the hotels and second home areas.

The degree to which the planning system defines and enforces the rights to more abstract economic values such as visual amenity for those who benefit from the scenery of an area is complicated. It is difficult for aquaculture operators to prove that their activities will not adversely affect existing environmental amenities. Aspects such as the number of fish pens or cages that affect the visual amenity of an area must be considered, but these are difficult to quantify as they depend on many different factors as well as individual opinion.

In Australia there has been particular conflict and defining the value of environmental amenities remains a difficult and largely subjective issue. Recreational and environmental uses of Australia's coastal zone are part of the national culture and their amenity values can be correspondingly high (Holland & Brown, 1998).

A formal cost-benefit analysis to inform decision making in the aquaculture is therefore generally absent as it would require quantification of these intangible environmental qualities and would result in comparison with tangible socio-economic benefits of aquaculture derived through very different valuation techniques.

The perception of an area by tourists may depend on their initial expectations. Where a place has been marketed as a busy, thriving coastal community with the associated commercial activities such as aquaculture, the tourists are likely to be content with the sight of fish farms. Tourists seeking tranquility in a location may find fish farms to be more of an impact. Therefore appropriate marketing may play a part in this aspect of competition between tourism and aquaculture. Conversely, tourism developments may impact on existing and potential aquaculture through the discharge of sewage to the sea and by general disturbance. Recreational activities may also interfere with aquaculture through noise, disturbance, and accidental collision with sea-based installations (Deniz, 2001).

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