Name of the case study
Ski centre Comprehensive Development Plan
Description of context
The National Tourism Development Strategy of Bulgaria envisages the development of sustainable tourism as one of the national priorities. Countryside territories with suitable natural and human resources are specially focused upon. Both national and local authorities co-operate with the local and regional tourism organizations in the preparation of tourism development programs, marketing activities and control on implementation. Branch associations together with municipal administrations play an important role in tourism development and the public/private sector co-operation in this field.
Sustainable tourism development in Bulgaria is based on a balance between the conservation, economic and social policies of the Government. This is in line with European policies and is a guarantee for the effective implementation of the sustainable development principles in Bulgaria. Three Ministries – Environment and Waters, Economy, and Agriculture and Forests – took the initiative in 2002 to create National Ecotourism Strategy and Action Plan (policy document). This document was created through a nationwide review and planning process with the participation citizens, local government, businesses, national park administrations, and non-governmental organizations interested in ecotourism development in Bulgaria.
The Tourism Development Concepts for the territory of Chepelare and for its southern zone for tourism and recreation have been proposed (according to the National Plan for Regional Development) on the basis of the following research and design activities:
• Strategic Development Plan, endorsed on behalf of the Supreme Expert Council of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works and the District Administration. This Plan highlights the main trends in the future development of the tourist agglomeration including Chepelare as one of the five zones for tourism development.
• Local development plan (draft) of the town of Chepelare and its tourist and recreation zone, endorsed on behalf of the Municipal Commission on Planning and Architecture. It contains a close analysis of the basic natural and manmade resources of the area.
• Ideas and perspectives for tourism development in the Municipality of Chepelare coordinated with the local authorities. They have been discussed during the Business Forum, held in Chepelare in June 2001, and were supported by the local population and business representatives and entrepreneurs.
• Theoretical research on contemporary trends in tourism development, proposals and projects about tourist centres and resorts.
• Meetings and discussions with the local authorities on the strategic plans for town and municipal development (in 2000).
Development Priorities (as stated in the concept) comprise:
• Development of the transport infrastructure, and especially, improvement of the main access roads;
• Completion of the works on the elements of the technical and tourism infrastructure;
• Development of conditions for various forms of tourism during all seasons;
• Establishment of a centre for winter sports and training of national and international teams;
• Protection and exhibition of the natural and cultural values of the municipality and its centre;
• Promotion of the ideas and projects for the development of the municipality and the town;
• Establishment of a modern form of partnership between the local population, the public and private sector.
Town development concept
Description of project - background
The town is recognised as a skiing centre, offering excellent facilities for skiing and snowboard from mid-December to mid-April. The Mechi Chal ski complex is close to the town and offers about 8500m of ski runs. There is a potential for 2000 beds in different class hotels planned on the urban fringe.
The project was initiated in March 2003 by the Mayor of Chepelare. It has several aims: to anticipate the chaotic building in rural and forest plots with restored ownership after 1990, to promote the municipality and to attract outside investment (in order to effectively use the existing abundant tourism resources and achieve sustainable development).
Description of project - objectives/aims
Issues addressed by the project – development of the tourist infrastructure; licensing of the municipal ski facilities for international sports events; relevantly meeting high investment pressure and avoiding overdevelopment of the area.
Alternatives for tourism development have been discussed before the starting of the plan preparation. GIS was used for the classification of the information, for making analysis, for assessment of the alternatives and visualization of the results. GIS implementation facilitated the decision making process by reducing the time for useless discussions.
Project – proposition of new sport facilities
(GIS supported visualisation)
Description of project - time interval and stages
The realisation of all project proposals needs two years according to the project team suggestion.
Description of project - financing
The basic form of financing is planned to be public-private investments. The municipality meets major difficulties in finding financial sources for the project realisation.
Description of project - other sectors involved
Other sectors involved in the particular project/problem are: transport, energy, waste, building – development of new infrastructural elements and improving the existing; No significant conflicts between sectors were reported up to 2004.
What tools were used to assess sustainability?
Public Planning Forum
Click here for a full description (pdf)