NEU STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOP
As NEU, we organised a stakeholder workshop on the 7th of January with the participation of
Thirteen tourism stakeholders from different cities of Turkey. We invited hoteliers, tourism agency
directors, tourism academics and local authorities. We will find two more stakeholders later and
repeat the same procedure to collect the necessary data ( since the rule is that each partner
should have at least 15 participants for the survey) The session started at 13:30 and finished at
16:45. Before the workshop survey, questionnaires (translated into Turkish) and an info pack
about TOURIBOOST Project sent to the participants so that they came ready knowing the
survey questions and the project.
At the beginning of the workshop we introduced our TOURIBOOST Project, its primary
purposes and expected impact of it, then the instructions for the afternoon task were made by
Dr Kevser ÇINAR according to the survey questions. She explained the importance of that
survey with the collaboration of different stakeholders in the tourism sector. She asked the
participants to build a model of showing the distinctive identity of the Pilot Project using their
own individual understanding. She acknowledged that the workshop would be a tourism
planning exercise, an itinerary to follow depending on the model to be created by the
STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOP TASKS
TASK1: Preparation: LEGO® Building on a question:
Please define the distinctive identity of the Touriboost Project using your own individual understanding
Participants are asked to compose their model in a specified time (5 minutes)
Individually. LEGO® is used as a metaphor to represent the variety of ideas among people.
Then they explained their models according to their expertise and asked questions to
each other and discussed among themselves. This was important because each
stakeholder had a different perspective, experience and interpreted ideas distinctively from
each other and sometimes as a complementary of each other’s models. Therefore, the way
people told their stories about today’s experience is essential to listen so that we can build
something beneficial all together that meets the new needs of the visitors and the
TASK2: LEGO® Building on the question About their own experience
(when they visit one of these five tourism assets we already chose) in a specified time (5
-The models should reflect individuals’ experience through concrete lego models.
-The models were displayed to create a landscape. They all were graphic representations of
After this task, they explained their model as well focusing mostly the problems they met
and what could be done to overcome these problems regarding tourism strategy of that
destination and the importance of stakeholders’ cooperation and communication to overcome
all these problems. They discussed their models and exchanged their ideas and opinions.
Then we went through the other questions of the survey, and we discussed all the questions, and we recorded all these discussions and the whole workshop. At the end of the workshop
we interviewed with some of the participants focusing on their comments, proposals and
suggestions to our Project. It was a beneficial workshop to see the different angels from
various stakeholders and how we can improve our pilot project to have more impact on local,
national and international level.
State of Art in Konya
The city of Konya, the Mevlana Museum where Mevlana’s Shrine is located has turned this part of the city into a centre of attraction for cultural tourism. In addition to the Mevlana Museum, the district also boasts ‘the historical Sultan Selim Mosque’ and ‘the Manuscript Library’.
In addition to the historical places of interest above, not being far from each other, there are numerous tourist attractions withhigh historical and cultural value like ‘the Shrine of Şems-iTebrizi, Alaeddin Mosque, the Ruins of Alaeddin Keykubat Kiosk, Karatay Madrasah, Slender Minaret Madrasah, Sahip Ata Mosque and Madrasah, Koyunoglu Ethnography Museum, theArchelogical Museum, Sırçalı Madrasah.’ The above-mentioned attractions located in downtown Konya have crucial importance both for the development of the city and cultural tourism.
Konya City Administration puts great efforts into attracting more tourists to the city by advertising the cultural aspects located mostly in the centre. As a result of these efforts, both the city and the residents have obtained certain benefits.
These benefits are:
- The city benefits more from revenue coming from tourism thanks to its touristic attractions.
- The people will benefit more from the tourism revenues of the city.
- The related areas of the city, especially the Mevlana Museum and its surroundings, will be put through urban transformation and renewal.
- New recreational areas will be established around the city both for the residents and the tourists.
As a result of the Konya City Administration’s efforts; the historical sites located around the Mevlana Museum will be more attractive. Besides, the modernization, renewal or building of pedestrian roads in some districts in the area will be realized. As a result of the Konya City Administration’s efforts, this particular area of the city will appreciably reflect the characteristics of an Anatolian Seljuk City.
Due to that rapid growth of tourism developments in Konya, besides problems like environmental degradation due to rapid and unplanned tourism development, insufficient infrastructural base, negative image of Turkey abroad and lack of marketing skills of the stakeholders, the most important problem appeared to be the continued supply and retention of a well-educated, well-trained, skilled, enthusiastic and committed work-force for the tourism industry.
In fact, the importance of a well-educated, well-trained, skilled, enthusiastic and committed work-force cannot be underestimated for the service industries in general, and the tourism industry and "rms in particular. Most services in tourism are based on human (employee) performance, services are produced and consumed simultaneously in a face-to-face exchange (service encounters) situation and employees and customers are physically and psychologically close enough to in#uence each other. These characteristics of services and service delivery process make employee attitudes, performance and behaviour a key determinant of service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty. In other words, achieving service quality and excellence, making satisfied and loyal customers depends, to a large extent, on attitudes, performance and behaviour of employees particularly in the front line.
Some of the ideas extracted from the workshop:
Participant A: There are currently 6-7 cultural values from Konya as being principal and temporary in the list of UNESCO cultural heritage, even these values are sufficient to make the city of Konya a brand provided that ensuring recognition.
Sea, sand, sun tourism was very popular before the 2000s. However, after the 2000s, alternative tourism types have begun to develop. The most importantof these is cultural tourism.Mevlana Museum is emerging by itself. However, the city of Konya has many cultural values in becoming a brandcity in the area of cultural heritage.I think that these should be evaluatedbybringing them together. A study that includes Alaaddin Museum, Konya,NasreddinHodjawho is a great figure, and involving and addressing all these values can be conducted. I think it can be concentrated on more than one field instead of focusing on a single area. For example, Çatalhoyuk is a great value, but it is not mentioned so much. People coming to Konya, in general, are going to Mevlana.This is also a cultural heritage value that we have.I think this should be included in such studies.
Participant B: It can be provided some awareness campaigns for local people, who do not have enough knowledge and desire in the field of cultural heritage tourism so that they can play more active role in the branches of tourism and gain income from tourism. Thus, the unwillingness, unconsciousness and negative viewpoints of local people can be changed. The entrepreneurs who are interested in opening a new start ups or businesses related to cultural heritage tourism could be encouraged with government assistance offered by local adminisrations.
Participant C: Aya Eleni Church in Sille belongs to the early Christian period, which is one of the pilgrimage centers for Christians. Archeology Museum is also another important tourism asset in the territory because it is a museum where artifacts from Çatalhöyük, which is the oldest settlement of earth, and other important works are exhibited. In the context of the project, it is important to make more effective promotion of these cultural centers in the region. To have a better tourism experience for stakeholders in the region we need to follow a participatory approach offers 3 main advantages.
1) It gives planner a better understanding of local values, knowledge and experience.
2) It wins the local community backing for project objectives and communities help in local implementation.
3) It can resolve conflicts that arises when large infrastructure investments are made.
Tourism is an economic activity so it becomes necessary to spread its benefits to the community. When we plan we must think for the community. The environment is an integral part of the development, in their improvised state; the community depends on environment for their livelihood and substance. Communities have to meet their urgent short-term needs by preying upon natural resources available in their surrounding.
Participant D: Unfortunately, CULTURAL HERİTAGE tourism without effective management of related stakeholders, will be unsuccessful and of little consequence in the absence of adequate institutional arrangements and administrative commitments. The development of positive relationship between people, resources and tourism is very unlikely to occur without implementation of effective policies, management strategies, and involvement of a wide range of organizations, including NGO’s and other development agencies.
To achieve success in CULTURAL HERİTAGE tourismwe should follow a process. The various steps of this process are:
- Impact assessment.
- To plan for tourism development on the basis of sustainability.
- Involvement of the local community.
- To assist and encourage the participation of the NGO’s.
- To facilitate the functioning of the tourism development.
- Examining the developmental process.
Finally we can conclude that CULTURAL HERITAGE tourism is neither a simple concept to define nor a straightforward phenomenon to implement and evaluate. CULTURAL HERITAGE tourism should be regarded as being more than tourism to the natural areas and should be viewed as a means of combining the goals of resource conservation and local development through tourism in a synergistic fashion. This means that care should be taken to ensure that the goals of tourism development do not interfere with the goals of protecting natural areas and biodiversity. All the stakeholders in tourism development should safeguard the natural environment with a view to achieving sound, continuous and sustainable economic growth geared to satisfying equitably the needs and aspirations of present and future generations.