From the perspective of tourism consumers, researchers as well as of other categories of stakeholders, protected natural areas have become holiday destinations based on the principles of sustainable development. The tourism activity is proving to be a real support for the sustainable development of these areas, for the protection of their natural resources, as the degree of awareness with respect to their value and importance is increasingly higher locally, nationally and, sometimes, even regionally. However, the prerequisite for this support is the responsible behaviour of tourism consumers in protected natural areas. International scientific research in this field emphasizes two main trends. On the one hand there is a high degree of awareness with respect to the importance of developing and practising a form of sustainable tourism. However, on the other hand, the offer only partially reaches the level of the demand for sustainable tourism consumption. The main reason for this is the fact that travel agencies do not sufficiently know the potential demand for this type of tourism. The research performed within this article is meant to mitigate this disparity. This study is exploring the behaviour related to tourism consumption in protected areas, focussing on identifying the forms and especially the preference for tourism activities of the representatives of the demand. In the second semester of the 2013/2014 university year, complying with the principles of probabilities in the selection of subjects, 200 questionnaires were administered to the young population; 187 valid answers were obtained. The SPSS software was used for data processing and, as a result of the analysis performed on the survey results, the main characteristics of tourism consumption in protected areas have been identified.
natural protected areas tourism activities tourism forms tourism consumption