Sakarya to attract tourists with ‘green tourism’: Mayor
Burak Coşan – SAKARYA
Sakarya, a province neighboring Istanbul, will become “Turkey’s new green city” following investments as part of “green tourism” for promoting the natural heritage of the region, the mayor of the province has said.
“We are investing in many regions of the town that can be new tourism destinations of the country,” Ekrem Yüce said on April 26.
The very first target is to “upgrade vacation and accommodation options in Sapanca,” a district famous for its stunning natural environment and its lake with the same name.
“Sapanca is the apple of our eyes. You can live four seasons in Sapanca,” he said proudly.
The municipality has already started an investment worth 10 million Turkish Liras ($680,000) to introduce the Acarlar floodplain forest to the world to become a new tourism hub.
“Maden Deresi [The Stream of Mine] is another alternative natural beauty that could be the next tourism hotspot,” the mayor added.
One other project of the municipality is to convert 60 decares of land on Mount Çam (Pine) into trekking roads.
When asked why the local officials decided to add Sakarya to “green tourism,” the mayor underlined the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amid the pandemic, people discovered the significance of nature, according to the mayor. “That is why the municipality wants to take advantage of this trend.”
Sakarya is one of the first cities across the country labeled as “bicycle-friendly.” However, the mayor wants to set the bar high.
Many competitions are held in the city, and international cyclists are also hosted in the city’s “Bicycle Valley,” but it is “not enough,” he said.
“We have a cycling track project in three stages,” he said. “The first stage of 95 kilometers has already been finished. With the construction of the other two, we will have a total route of 120 kilometers.”
However, the final target is to have 500 kilometers of bicycle trails in the province.
“We will wrap Sakarya with bike roads from all quarters,” he stressed.
Greenhouse cultivation is another city project to attract “green tourists.” After making an investment worth 40 million Turkish Liras ($2.7 million), the municipality has established greenhouse facilities on a 53,000-square-meter land in the Akyazı district.
In a first effort, some 60,000 tomato seedlings have been planted. “We will be growing some 50 tons of tomatoes over a decare of land,” he said while telling his plans to attract agriculture aficionados.