A SPATIAL DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR ECOTOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN CASPIAN HYRCANIAN MIXED FORESTS ECOREGION

ALI BALI, SEYED MASOUD MONAVARI, BORHAN RIAZI, NEMATOLLAH KHORASANI, MIR MASOUD KHEIRKHAH ZARKESH

Abstract


Ecotourism, as a form of sustainable nature-based tourism, promotes conservation of ecological and scenic values. In this study, a Spatial Decision Support System, SDSS, was developed based upon Multi Criteria Evaluation, MCE, for ecotourism development in the Caspian Hyrcanian Mixed Forests ecoregion, northern Iran. For this, important criteria and
constraints for ecotourism development were shortlisted using the Delphi Method. The criteria were weighted using Analytical Hierarchy Process, AHP. The obtained results indicated that “distance from water resources”, “land use”, “slope”, “soil”, “climate”, “distance from roads”, “land cover density”, “erosion”, and “distance from residential areas” were the most important criteria, respectively. The findings suggest that GIS-based SDSS is
suitable to engage the various criteria affecting the development of ecotourism destinations. This empirical research develops a new method that can significantly facilitate planning forecotourism development with respect to ecological capability of ecotourism destinations.

Keywords


Ecotourism; GIS; Decision Support System; AHP; Anzali Watershed



Copyright (c)