RECREATION AND TOURISM ASSESSMENT OF METELIAI REGIONAL PARK
Keywords:recreation, Meteliai, regional park, tourism
The article emphasizes the assessment of the adaptation of the Meteliai regional park for recreation and tourism based on the visual assessment of recreational areas by photofixation and the monitoring of park visitors, evaluating the 2017-2021 changes in visitor flows. The evaluation was carried out in the selected territories belonging to the Meteliai regional park - in the territory of the Dusios recreational priority zone, in the territory of the Meteliai recreational priority zone and in the territory of the Barčiai landscape reserve. In the Meteliai regional park, recreational priority areas account for only 2.5 percent. of the entire area, and reserves - 70.6 percent (reserves make up the majority of the territory of the regional park). Only harmoniously designed recreational areas of the regional park attract more visitors to choose this area for recreation and entertainment. The evaluation of the selected zones showed that the Dusios recreational priority zone is the most developed and maintained zone adapted to tourism. The least suitable area for tourism and recreation is the Barčiai landscape reserve, which has the most outdated and in need of reconstruction recreation areas and benches, playgrounds and the stairs of the Prelomciškės hills, which are broken and in critical condition. Summarizing 2017-2021 analysis data of visitors in Meteliai regional park, it can be said that the highest number of visitors was recorded in 2019 possibly due to the windsurfing competitions held that year, and the lowest in 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic prevailed and restrictions were introduced throughout Lithuania.