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You are here: Home » Past Issues » Volume 10, 2015 - Number 2 » TOURISM AND NATURAL HAZARDS IN BÂLEA GLACIAL AREA VALLEY, FĂGĂRAŞ MASSIF, ROMANIAN CARPATHIANS


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Mathieu GRATTON1, Stéphanie MORIN1, Daniel GERMAIN1*, Mircea VOICULESCU2 & Ana IANĂŞ2
1Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Department of Geography, CP 8888, succursale Centre-ville, Montréal (Québec) Canada H3C 3P8
*Corresponding author Daniel Germain germain.daniel@uqam.ca
2University of West Timişoara, Department of Geography, Bdul Vasile Pârvan, 4, 300223-Timişoara, Romania

TOURISM AND NATURAL HAZARDS IN BÂLEA GLACIAL AREA VALLEY, FĂGĂRAŞ MASSIF, ROMANIAN CARPATHIANS

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Abstract:

This paper assesses the interrelationship between tourism and natural hazards, on geological and geomorphological hazards in Bâlea glacial area (glacial cirque and valley), located in the Făgăraş massif - Southern Carpathians (Romanian Carpathians). With the adhesion of Romania to the European Union (EU) in 2007, tourism development of the Romanian Carpathian will continue to accelerate, and Bâlea glacial area will be at the forefront. However, only few studies have been made to date concerning the impacts of tourism on the natural environment in the glacial cirque and valley. As such, the question of how the occurrence of natural hazards influences tourism activities, and vice versa, remains largely unanswered. In this respect, the description and mapping of the mains hazards have been carried out, as has a description of the tourism development context since the 1880s. According to our findings, natural hazards restrict the potential for mass tourism, because an increase in tourism infrastructures would exceed the environmental carrying capacity and hazards would be expected to occur more often. Tourism activities are also limited by the lack of security measures with regards to the hazards, which further prevents optimal tourism development. Better location of the infrastructures, accounting for natural hazard “hot spots” is a necessary precaution for tourism development. In order to achieve this, the involvement of all actors and their multilateral cooperation should be the first steps toward the sustainable development of tourism in Romania.


Keyword: natural hazards, tourism, risk management, Bâlea glacial area, Făgăraş massif, Southern Carpathians, Romanian Carpathians


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