Culture Tourism as a Sustainable Tourism Type: The Ephesus Example

  • Seçkin Eser Muğla University
  • Taner Dalgin Muğla University
  • Hüseyin Çeken Muğla University
Keywords: sustainable tourism, culture tourism, Ephesus, carrying capacity


Culture tourism is a worldwide mass trend and it is growing at a faster rate than any other form of tourism. Culture tourism is a term developed to encapsulate the interaction of culture and tourism (Stojanoski, Elmazi, 2008, 1288). Tourism activities generally develop in places where a natural balance is very sensitive and where this balance might be disturbed unless measures are taken. A sustainable tourism approach is critically important for transferring cultural and other resources to further generations without any damage. This approach has emerged to strike a natural balance as a reaction against negative environmental impacts, arising from the mass tourism. In particular, culture tourism in the long run can serve its aim much more appropriately in relation to mass and sustainable tourism. Cultural assets belonging to the area of Ephesus constitute an important part of the world history heritage. Therefore, in order for Ephesus to transfer its place to future generations, a balanced approach, enabling its application to fit sustainability principles, and its emergence as a tourist value, not giving rise to passiveness, must be put forward. At this point, the aim of this research is to emphasise the elements that would support such an approach as well as to create a theoretical frame that would contribute to the development of the Ephesus area as a touristic region. Ephesus, which has been chosen as a front field of the work, with its cultural values, is a destination which serves tourism at a much lower level than its capacity. Some general reasons of this can be pointed out, such as the fact that the tourism market is not continuously created, wrong strategic approaches are undertaken, and too little planning is employed.