OTTOMAN HERITAGE TOURISM FLOWS IN MACEDONIA
The five centuries of Ottoman oppression in Macedonia have left deep traces as a real mixture of cultures and religions. The remnants of that turbulent time are noticeable today in more than 150 different cultural relicts dispersed over the whole territory, out of which more than half may be valorized in tourism manner. Yet, currently only some 20 original sites are on the list for tour visits. The aim of the research is to investigate the presence of current and potential tourism heritage flows based upon cultural heritage in Macedonia dating from the Ottoman period. This is done by employing the Saint Gallen Destination Management model which enables reconstruction of strategic visitors’ flow. The qualitative data analysis is derived by conducting interviews with local tourist guides. Based on findings, the study produced maps on the current Ottoman heritage tourism routes thus enabling better understanding of their shape. Furthermore, several new routes are identified as strategic visitors’ flows, which may enhance further tourism development of the country. Finally, the study recommends design and development of an Ottoman heritage tourism product within the frames of cultural tourism development on regional, or even national level.
Key Words: Ottoman heritage sites, Strategic visitors flows, Tourism