Geolandscapes and Geotourism: Integrating Nature and Culture in the Bucegi Mountains of Romania
Originally considered "exclusively geomorphological", geolandscapes are multilayered landscapes defined by remarkable sights of natural diversity and different levels of human use. The paper approaches geolandscapes and geotourism from a geographical perspective and advances a unifying view of geodiversity, biodiversity and cultural values as major components of geolandscapes. Within this context it addresses the compelling issue of endangered protected areas, especially since mass tourism practices and lack of proper policies are involved. The Bucegi Mountains in Romania's Southern Carpathians are rich in geodiversity and biodiversity. They comprise a Sacred Natural Site as a last reminder of ancient beliefs and a war memorial as an iconic landmark and a place of remembrance. Inconsistencies between international standards for conservation and local management practices are obvious. As an overcrowded destination, the Bucegi Mountains face biodiversity loss and constant degradation, with sacredness and symbolic significance being on the brink of perishing. It is the first time a comparative analysis is carried out with the purpose of revealing the full extent of the educational potential and endangered status of geolandscapes, understood as both natural and cultural landscapes. Geotourism, which hasn't been introduced so far in the Bucegi Mountains area, is advocated as an educational tool for geolandscape management.
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Volume (Year): 40 (2015)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
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