Leisure and tourism activities conceived as part of the developmental process of particular areas or regions can contribute to their economic growth to varying degrees of intensity so that they can be attainable and/or desirable. The exploitation of national resources is of great economic value in promoting tourism development in the provincial and underdeveloped areas of Greece. An evaluation of the factors that contribute to the growth of tourism in these regions would be useful in decision making and planning as far as their development is concerned. Such an interesting region from a tourism perspective, with many individual characteristics is the region of Metsovo, which belongs to Epirus, one of the poorest EU regions. However, Metsovo has recently presented a dynamic image since the region’s natural resources and rich cultural heritage (many Greek benefactors originated from here), along with its farming products with designation of origin, have created major prospects for the promotion of tourism. The present research was carried out using a structured questionnaire and cluster sampling involving visitors staying in local hotels. The collected data were elaborated using the SPSS v. 11.0 statistical program. Descriptive statistics and categorical regression were used to analyse the relevant data. The main conclusions have shown that the profile of visitors to Metsovo can be summarized using the following characteristics: relatively young, minimum secondary school graduates and belonging to the upper social classes ( judged by their profession). In addition, for more than half of the visitors the region of Metsovo is their permanent holiday location, primarily for relaxation purposes. The main problems that visitors face in the region of Metsovo relate to the lack of parking areas and cleanliness.Visitors with a higher level of education and/or income choose to visit Metsovo during public holidays or weekends; they also show a tendency to spend more money in comparison to the rest of the visitors. Finally, visitors who describe the surrounding countryside as nice or very nice are characterized by a higher professional and educational standing.
activities, categorical regression, development, Greece, Metsovo, mountainous areas, questionnaires, survey, socioeconomic characteristics, tourism.
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