Sustainable Development of Cultural Tourism on Example of Botevgrad Municipality: A Model for Local Tourist Development

Sustainable Development of Cultural Tourism on Example of Botevgrad Municipality: A Model for Local Tourist Development

Dessislava Ivanova Alexova (International Business School, Bulgaria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1196-1.ch027


The survey includes a study of the potential for sustainable tourist development of cultural tourism on example of Botevgrad Municipality, Bulgaria. The main accents are focused on theoretical formulations as system methods for territorial development of cultural tourism in the former tourist destination and practical researches which include proposals for tourism product development. The main approaches are the systemic, related to the systemic character of the territorial system for recreation and tourism at the local level and the empirical, used for gathering the necessary, in volume and character, primary quantitative and qualitative information. The research methods used are based on a deductive approach. The main limiting factors of the study are the lack of monitoring of tourist visits, sufficient statistical information and previous systematic research studies, the lack of traditions in the tourism sector, and the fact that the municipality has never worked preoperatively for the tourist development.
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The development of tourism and, in particular, of cultural tourism depends to a large extent on the public sector's involvement, as this business is too much integrated with other public services, the state of the transport infrastructure, access towards and to tourist attractions and sites, cleanliness, security. The presence or absence of projects supporting tourism infrastructure on a given territory is essential for the competitiveness of tourism. Therefore, the policy of the municipal authorities and their attitude towards the issues of the sector are among the key factors for the development of a tourist destination.

In the context of the political environment in Bulgaria, Botevgrad municipality is in a comparatively favourable position. In Botevgrad municipality the tourist services sector is not developed in line with the national proportions, at the expense of a well-functioning economy with an industrial-agrarian structure.

As a tourist destination, the municipality has limited resources for the development of cultural tourism. They are still not used rationally, despite the crossroads location of the region and good transport accessibility to the capital. Historical and religious monuments are the basis for a comprehensive offering of cultural and religious tourism. Tourism is included in the vision of programming documents and is on the agenda of the municipality but practically there are still no implemented targeted local policies in the sector. At the same time, sustainable development is embedded in the National Tourism Development Strategy and is a priority of the World Tourism Organization. This necessitates the adaptation and implementation of established methods for the sustainable development of a tourist destination.

The aim of the study is to analyse and assess the resource potential, as well as to formulate strategic objectives and priorities for the sustainable development of cultural tourism in the municipality of Botevgrad.

Botevgrad Municipality has a varied but limited and insufficiently utilized resource potential, the development of which will contribute to:

  • A diversification and improvement of the quality of the local tourist product;

  • A possibility of year-round tourist offer;

  • Raising visitor interest, promoting entrepreneurship for the development of rural and cultural tourism, improving the quality and expanding the material and technical facilities;

  • Creating employment in smaller settlements in the municipality by offering specialized services related to local culture, craft development, production and supply of local produce;

  • Enhancing the competitiveness of specialized tourism products for cultural tourism by applying new forms of spatial integration, including a regional tourist product with the neighbouring municipalities.

The research objective of the present work is the development and implementation of mechanisms for sustainable tourism development of cultural tourism at a local level based on the analysis and assessment of the resource potential in Botevgrad Municipality, especially the cultural heritage and the possibilities of traditional and innovative events. The objective of the study is the sustainable development of cultural tourism in the municipality of Botevgrad and its positioning as an attractive tourist destination. The resources for cultural tourism of Botevgrad Municipality are not yet rationally used for the sustainable tourism development and planning of tourism on a local level, despite the crossroads position of the region and good transport accessibility with the capital. The subject of this work is the study, analysis and definition of opportunities for sustainable development of cultural tourism at a local level as a model that can be multiplied to be used in other developing tourist destinations. To achieve the research goal, a set of general and private methods corresponding to the interdisciplinary and heterogeneous nature of the study are used: methods of analysis and synthesis, cameral method (literary review, official information sources, etc.), cartographic method (for spatial analysis of the surveyed objects and phenomena within the studied municipality), geographic methods of research: spatial analysis of the resource potential, localization of the surveyed sites.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cultural Information Core: A character, which serves to activate functional catalysts and modulators, to make internal and external connections to the system, from the created heterotopias.

Tourism Potential: The sum of the natural, anthropogenic and material resources and conditions necessary for a destination management.

Cultural Tourism: A form of specialized cognitive tourism that focuses on tangible or intangible cultural heritage.

Heterotopia: A real place where that, what challenges and overturns the routine, ordinary, domesticated, common-place world of man, happens.

Tourism Resources: Natural or anthropogenic sites that have the qualities to satisfy the healing, recreational, cognitive, business or leisure needs of tourists.

Tourist Corridor: A path that connects unique cultural and natural values attractive to tourists.

Tourist Chains: Connected tourist sites, situated around popular tourist attractions (small towns, artificially linked in a closed loop).

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