Inci Zeynep Yilmaz, Atakan Ozturk
In this study, it is aimed to examine the ecotourism potential in the protected areas with Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis based on expert opinions based on example of Artvin province. In this context, the situation was analyzed based on the opinions of 58 experts, consisting of local administrators and Global Environment Facility (GEF) project employees, NGOs and tour operators, the people of Camili and academics. As a result of the protection of natural resources and biodiversity, socio-economic benefits to the local people and the protection of cultural resources were listed as the most important criteria with the SWOT analysis. In addition, the main strengths of Artvin province are listed as habitat and species diversity and cultural memory, opportunities, the positive contribution of ecotourism in employment, the inadequacy of studies on the capacity to carry the weaknesses, and the deficiencies and threats in the database and inventory records, the problems experienced in the institutional framework/capacity, and the inadequacy of legislation and laws. In order to ensure sustainable ecotourism activities in protected areas, it is necessary to increase the effectiveness of the criteria and indicators, to strengthen the weaknesses, to use the opportunities in favor of the area, and to eliminate the threats and turn them into opportunities.