Küçükköy is an emerging tourism destination in the Ayvalık district of Balıkesir. The history of the settlement dates back to 1462, when Küçükköy was formerly known as Yeniçarohori/Yeniçarhion (Novičarohori in Bosnian), that is, "the village of the Janissaries", since Fatih Sultan Mehmet conquered the island of Lesbos and had the Janissaries settle on the island. The region has become a multicultural center and an art and design village where Greeks had lived for a long time, Bosnians from the Balkans were settled in 1893 and 1913, stone houses built by the Greeks were restored and transformed into art workshops, digital incubation centers, cultural center, city museum were established for those interested in mobile applications, and festivals are organized. Küçükköy consists of approximately 400 stone houses, 3 churches, 3 monasteries, where Greek architecture dominates, and the renovated buildings that maintain their original architectural identity serve as museums, galleries and art workshops.
The livelihood of the people in the region depends on tourism, animal husbandry and agricultural products. Among those who are engaged in agriculture, 80% are engaged in olive cultivation and 20% are engaged in grain products.
Küçükköy has also taken significant steps in terms of becoming a green destination. In order to develop a destination where cultural and natural assets are protected, energy is consumed efficiently, renewable energy practices are carried out, wastes are separated, tourism is active for all 4 seasons, technology meets art, and the welfare of the people of the region increases, Enerjisa Enerji, in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Sabancı University, launched SENTRUM-Green Destination Model in Küçükköy as a pilot project.
As part of the project, energy surveys were carried out in eight small-scale tourism enterprises and two public buildings in Küçükköy, and required improvements were made in the equipment used in order to save energy. Focus group meetings and trainings were held for public institutions, private businesses and local people in order to determine the current situation on sustainable tourism, energy efficiency and renewable energy practices.
A comprehensive report consisting of 5 headlines was prepared as part of the project.
1. Global Green Destination Standards and Global Examples of Good Practice
2. Küçükköy Tourism Resource Value and Stakeholder Analysis
3. Küçükköy Environmentally Friendly Transportation Systems Strategy and Road Map
4. Küçükköy-Green Destination Model
5. SENTRUM Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan
Small-scale tourism enterprises and local people in Küçükköy were provided training on various issues, such as energy efficiency, sustainable tourism, waste management, the climate crisis, gender mainstreaming, etc. Alternative hiking and cycling routes have been established. Road maps have been developed on green purchasing, sustainable transportation, production and consumption. Global standards defined related to sustainable tourism were re-shaped in line with the local requirements and a green destination model that can be expanded was launched in Küçükköy as a pilot project.