Sustainable Regional Development
Helen Theodoropoulou, Roido Mitoula and Malvina Vamvakari
DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2009.80.84
Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 5, Issue 2
Problem statement: Demographic changes have increased the social and cultural diversity of tourist areas with historical heritage and natural beauty in Greece, causing an expansion in the cultural and economic horizons of local people and producing at the same time conflicts in their interests, values and lifestyles. This research was focused in the concept of sustainable development in three areas in south Greece, in order to examine if tourist development can cause a danger for human values and natural environment. Approach: Three municipalities of southern Peloponnese in Greece namely Koroni, Methoni and Pilos were selected for the study. These three municipalities were selected because they constitute regions of common historical heritage, big natural beauty and high environmental importance. By using empirical social research methods, sample data of 120 questionnaires were collected on the characteristics of residents and local enterprises and land use changes in these areas. Results: The main employment is farming (24%), even though that residential land had increased at the expense of farmland. Local residents in the public or private sector supplement their low income with agricultural or tourist activities (67%). Therefore, new enterprises were found through private investments, which increase the local entrepreneurship (42%). In addition, the analysis of the multiple regression models showed that local development increases in places with more chances for employment. Also, among areas with the same cultural development those with better infrastructure were expected to have more sustainable development (6 units of difference) than those areas with worse infrastructure. Conclusion: Development of soft tourism, organic farming and better infrastructure could enhance sustainable development in tourist areas with historical heritage, big natural beauty and high environmental importance.
© 2009 Helen Theodoropoulou, Roido Mitoula and Malvina Vamvakari. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.