Volume XXII |

Protected areas as recreational zones for nearby cities – the case study of the city of Vršac

Abstract: The fast-paced life has led many people to practise more frequent and shorter trips to nature. City dwellers are particularly inclined to this. Protected areas (PAs), especially those in the vicinity of cities, provide a good opportunity for one-day excursions and nature-based recreation. The paper presents the results of research aimed at determining how many city dwellers in Serbia use the surrounding PAs for this kind of activities. On a random sample of 247 residents of the City of Vršac above the age of 15, the survey method, with the help of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (descriptive statistics, Chi-Square Test and Kruskal-Wallis Test), confirmed the research hypothesis that the utilization of these areas for recreation purposes was insufficient. Based on this and four additional hypotheses that were tested, conclusions are drawn that will serve to define guidelines for the development of excursion tourism in the studied areas and enrich the scarce local scholarly literature on the utilization of PAs for recreation by the urban population.