The metropolitan Bornova district is the third largest district in the Izmir Province in Turkey. The region, which covers approximately 224km2 and is home to just over 464,000 people, is modern, highly urbanized and surrounded by the Aegean Sea on the west.
Izmir, the capital city of the region, is an 8,500-year-old city that is colloquially referred to as the Pearl of the Aegean. Situated at the westernmost end of Turkey, Izmir combines a westernised lifestyle with Anatolian traditions and customs. With a large port extending from Canakkale to Fethiye, Izmir is Turkey’s most prominent trading city.
The Municipality of Bornova is jointly engaged in the TUSENET project with the City of Kalmar in Sweden, which is also a signatory city of the UN Global Compact. TUSENET is a networking and development project between Turkey and Sweden, with key focus areas in the development of sustainable tourism and cooperation between higher education institutions, the private sector and the public sector (also referred to as Triple Helix Cooperation). In Bornova, the main focus area is the development of sustainable rural tourism. In February 2008, Ege University in Bornova conducted research into the potential of rural villages in the district for developing tourism. As a result of the study, the Bornova Municipality applied for a grant from the United Nations joint program with the Sabanci Foundation for a project aimed at educating women working in the field of rural tourism. The application was approved and 25 women from villages in Bornova received training in 2009 from representatives of Yasar University on ‘home lodging’.