The project is being undertaken by OikoM Ltd in collaboration with the Goulandris Natural History Museum – Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (GNHM-EKBY) and concerns the assessment of the carrying capacity of the area in terms of the exercise of tourist activities, with the aim of forming the appropriate management framework , to formulate the necessary directions for the management of visitors and to specify the required actions and projects for the promotion of sustainable tourism in the Parnassos National Park.
The project is undertaken on behalf of the Management Unit of Parnassos and Oiti National Parks and Protected Areas of Eastern Central Greece.
Carrying capacity has been used extensively worldwide to estimate tourist traffic peaks. The project aims to calculate the carrying capacity of selected places of the mountain which currently receive the largest number of visitors in order to estimate the number it can receive specific periods of time, as well as to formulate directions for the organization of the movement of visitors in the wider area and their management in a way that promotes the conservation of the valuable biodiversity that the National Park hosts, strengthens the local economy and by extension social well-being.
In the context of the project, primary and secondary research was designed and implemented, which may evolve throughout the project. During Phase A of the project, a social survey was carried out among people in the area related to tourism planning or the provision of tourism-related services, with the aim of collecting data in the protected area and investigating the needs and expectations of the involved and interested social groups. At the same time, the project team proceeded to create and distribute an open digital questionnaire in Google Forms which was available to services, agencies and businesses dealing with the management and/or practice of tourism in the Parnassos National Park, as well as to visitors of the National Park.
With the completion of Phase A of the project, all the necessary data related to the practice of tourism in the protected area have been gathered, in order to assess the carrying capacity during Phase B of the project that follows. The produced results of the project are expected to contribute to the prevention of the environmental and landscape degradation of the National Park that occurs as a result of the way certain activities related to tourism and recreation are carried out.
Through the project and the communication actions within its context, it is expected to disseminate to the local population and the competent agencies, the direct correlation of socio-economic well-being with the rational and carefully planned management of natural resources and ecosystems.