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REGIONAL ACUPUNCTURE FOR IZMIR PENINSULA: CREATING CAPITAL WEB FOR CREATIVE ECO-TOURISM
Rural socio-economic development has gained utmost importance in Turkish Metropolitan Municipalities within the frame of recent legal changes extending the boundary of such municipalities towards their larger rural hinterland. Beforehand, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality had been started 'Izmir Peninsula Sustainable Development Strategy' in 2013 as a model of their local development agenda based on the principles of 'Urla-Cesme-Karaburun Peninsula Local Development Idea Competition' held in 2008. Izmir Peninsula region is the nature reserve for Izmir with its specific flora and fauna always considered as perfect location for eco-tourism activities. This paper aims to illustrate the development and implementation mechanisms of creative eco-tourism strategies for the region with concrete examples including thematic tourism routes based on green transportation, local production and consumption networks (i.e. local bazaars, family pensions) and special events aim to create local buzz and global pipelines. The major contribution of this study is to illustrate a model of networked integration strategy by using 'creative' eco-tourism opportunities of Izmir Peninsula Region. It exemplifies the key implementation mechanisms of regional acupuncture and capital web approach derived from the idea of network of local micro-projects working in synergy.