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Protected areas in the Stara planina tourist region – current state and prospects for tourism development


Bulgaria is a country with an extremely diverse nature. Unlike a number of European countries, Bulgarian nature is relatively well preserved. For the purposes of its protection, a network of protected areas was created, which occupy 5.3% of the country’s territory. Bulgaria also participates in a number of international initiatives, which put about 1/3 of the territory of Bulgaria under protection of the natural environment. According to the Protected areas Act in Bulgaria, 6 categories are distinguished - national parks, natural parks, reserves, maintained reserves, protected localities, natural attractions. Among them, important resources for the development of tourism are national parks, natural parks, protected localities and natural attractions. They represent unique sites for the development of alternative forms of tourism such as ecological, cultural-cognitive, route-cognitive tourism, etc. On the other hand, reserves and maintained reserves prohibit tourism activities. The network of protected areas is unevenly developed throughout the country. It is better represented in the mountainous areas, and in the plain parts of the country it is more limited due to the strong anthropogenic changes and the pressure from various human activities. In connection with the preserved nature, the mountains are preferred sites for tourism. The contribution of the protected areas in this regard is significant.

Stara planina tourist region is among the country’s tourist areas with well-defined mountainous characteristics. This is an important prerequisite both for the preservation of nature and for the formation of a suitable environment for recreation and tourism, and the mentioned directions are mutually bound.

The purpose of this article is to valorize the protected areas in Stara Planina tourist region and to highlight the possibilities for their current and future use for the development of tourism.

Częstotliwość wydawania:
Volume Open
Dziedziny czasopisma:
Chemistry, other, Geosciences, Geography, Life Sciences, Physics