UKRAINE'S POTENTIAL FOR ACTIVE TOURISM – AN ATTEMPT AT ANALYSIS
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The paper discusses methodological and spatial features of an important segment of the recreational and tourist activities - active sport tourism - in terms of geospatial approach (on the example of Ukraine). Geospatial approach is considered by the author as the most appropriate methodological approach to the study of active sport tourism geography, as active sport tourism resources are represented, first of all, by the territory and some of located objects, primarily natural and infrastructure facilities. These objects play a dual role in sports tourism. Second, these are attractive objects which tourists want to see: beautiful peaks, glaciers, icefalls, lakes, waterfalls etc. These individual sports tourism objects are “thread” on the lines of sports tourism routes that may be considered as the linear forms of sports tourism activity. Each category of route difficulty corresponds to a certain set of local and extensive obstacles by type, number and category of difficulty. The network of sports tourism routes with extremely attractive objects constitutes sports tourism region. Every active sport tourism region has own specialization in one or more types of sports tourism. If active sport tourism region is considered only as recipient of tourist flows, it acts as the active sport tourism region-destination. Regionalization of Ukraine in terms of certain taxonomic levels (zone - region (region-destination) - hub - object) is an important result of human-geographical study of active sport tourism in Ukraine. Seven active sport tourism zones have been identified in Ukraine based on the defined criteria. Each zone contains from 2 to 4 active sport tourism regions. Empirical studies have been conducted in the Carpathian mountainous active sport tourism region (research tourist groups).