Site suitability evaluation for ecotourism using MCDM methods and GIS: Case study- Lorestan province, Iran

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/06/2014
Views (214) Download (11)

Site suitability evaluation for ecotourism using MCDM methods and GIS: Case study- Lorestan province, Iran

Ali Mahdavi, Maryam Niknejad
J. Bio. Env. Sci.4( 6), 425-437, June 2014.
Certificate: JBES 2014 [Generate Certificate]


On based environment, ecotourism led to preserve the environment and on based economic, ecotourism led to dynamical economic in local association by creating a labor and an income. On this base, recognize the sufficiency and procedures of development the nature in different geographic regions were important. This study compared the two methods of GIS-based Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) in evaluation of the ecotourism potential in Khorram-Abad country. First, in this process the criteria and sub-criteria were determined and by using the Delphi technique and expert’s knowledge the weights of criteria were appointed. Then, required maps were produced and integrated with corresponding weights and ecotourism potential map of study area was produced in both methods of AHP and FAHP. The result of study showed that study area have high potential for ecotourism and in each produced map from two methods of AHP and FAHP, more than 45 percentage of study area had excellent and good classes potential.


Ahamed TRN, Rao KG, Murthy JSR. 2000. GIS-based fuzzy membership model for crop-land suitability analysis. Agricultural Systems 63, 75-95.

Amino M. 2007. A Geographic Information System (GIS) and Multi-Criteria Analysis for sustsinable tourism planning. A project submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Science (Planning-Information Technology). Faculty of Built Environment. University Teknologi Malaysia. 165 pp.

Anane M, Bouziri L, Limam A, Jellali S. 2012. Ranking suitable sites for irrigation with reclaimed water in the Nabeul-Hammamet region (Tunisia) using GIS and AHP-multicriteria decision analysis. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 65, 36-46.

Ars MS, Bohanec M. 2010. Towards the ecotourism: A decision support model for the assessment of sustainability of mountain huts in the Alps. Journal of Environmental Management 91, 2554-2564.

Babaie-Kafaky S, Mataji A, Ahmadi Sani N. 2009. Ecological capability assessment for multiple-use in forest areas using GIS- based Multiple Criteria Decision Making approach. American Journal of Environmental Sciences 5 (6), 714-721.

Banai R. 1993. Fuzziness in geographic information systems: contributions from the analytic hierarchy process. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 7, 315-329.

Bender M. 2008. Development of criteria & indicators for evaluating forest-based ecotourism destination: A Delphi study. Ph.D. thesis. West Virginia University, Morgantown.

Bo L, Feng Z, Li-Wen Z, Jing-Feng H, Zhi-Feng J, Gupta DK. 2012. Comprehensive suitability evaluation of tea crops using GIS and a modified land ecological suitability evaluation model. Pedosphere 22(1), 122-130.

Boyd S, Butler R, Haider W. 1995. Identifying criteria and establishing parameter for forest-based ecotourism in Northern Ontario, Canada. Department of Natural Resources/Forestry. Ministry of Natural Resources: Sault Ste Marie. 211-215.

Bunruamkaew K, Murayama Y. 2011. Site Suitability Evaluation for Ecotourism Using GIS & AHP: A Case Study of Surat Thani Province, Thailand. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 21, 269-278.

Carver SJ. 1991. Integrating multi-criteria evaluation with geographical information systems. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 5 (3), 321-339.

Chang DY. 1996. Applications of the extent analysis method on fuzzy AHP. European Journal of Operational Research 95(3), 649-655.

Chang  NB,  Parvathinathan  G,  Breeden  JB. 2008. Combining GIS with fuzzy multicriteria decision-making for landfill siting in a fast-growing urban region. Journal of Environmental Management 87, 139-153.

Chiu YTH, Lee WI, Chen TH. 2014. Environmentally responsible behavior in ecotourism: Antecedents and implications. Tourism Management 40, 321-329.

Collins MG, Steiner FR, Rushman MJ. 2001. Land-use suitability analysis in the United States: historical development and promising technological achievements. Environmental Management 28, 611-621.

Cruz REH, Baltazar EB, Gomez GM, Lugo EE. 2005. Social adaption, Ecotourism in the Lacandon Forest. Annals of Tourism Research 32(3), 610-627.

Dey PK, Ramcharan EK. 2008. Analytic hierarchy process helps select site for limestone quarry expansion in Barbados. Journal of Environmental Management 88, 1384-1395.

Gbanie SP, Tengbe PB, Momoh JS, Medo J, Kabba VTS. 2013. Modelling landfill location using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA): Case study Bo, Southern Sierra Leone. Applied Geography 36, 3-12.

Gillenwater D, Granata T, Zika U. 2006. GIS-based modeling of spawning habitat suitability for walleye in the Sandusky River, Ohio, and implications for dam removal and river restoration. Ecological Engineering 28, 311-323.

Gul AM, Orucu K, Oznur K. 2006. An approach for recreation suitability analysis to recreation planning in Golchuk Nature Park. Journal of Environmental Management 1, 606-625.

Hopkins L. 1977. Methods for generating land suitability maps: a comparative evaluation. Journal for American Institute of Planners 34,19-29.

Hsu YL, Lee CH, Kreng VB. 2010. The application of Fuzzy Delphi Method and Fuzzy AHP in lubricant regenerative technology selection. Expert Systems with Applications 37, 419-425.

Ismail M, Abdel Ghaffar MK, Azzam MA. 2012. GIS application to identify the potential for certain irrigated agriculture uses on some soils in Western Desert, Egypt. The Egyptian Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Sciences 15, 39-51.

Jones S. 2005. Community-based ecotourism, The significance of social capital. Annals of Tourism Research 32 (2), 303-324.

Kalogirou S. 2002. Expert systems and GIS: an application of land suitability evaluation. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 26, 89-112.

Kayakutlu G, Buyukozkan G. 2008. Assessing knowledge-based resources in a utility company: Identify and prioritise the balancing factors. Energy 33, 1027-1037.

Kumari S, Behera MD, Tewari HR. 2010. Identification of potential ecotourism sites in West District, Sikkim using geospatial tools. Tropical Ecology 51 (1), 75-85.

Kurttila M, Pesonen M, Kangas J, Kajanus M. 2000. Utilizing the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) in SWOT analysis-a hybrid method and its application to a forest-certification case. Forest Policy and Economics 1(1), 41-52.

Lawal DU, Matori AN, Balogun AL. 2011. A Geographic Information System and Multi Criteria Decision Analysis in proposing New Recreational Park Sites in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Canadian Center of Science and Education. Modern Applied Science 3, 39-55.

Mahdavi A, Karami O, Mirzaei J. 2011. Evaluation of ecotourism capability of Badreh township-Ilam Provence using Geographic Information System. Iranian Journal of Natural Ecosystems of Iran 2(2), 63-74.

Malczewshi J. 2004. GIS-based land-use suitability analysis: a critical overview. Progress in Planning 62, 3-65.

Malczewski J. 1999. GIS and Multicriteria Decision Analysis, Wiley, New York.

Ross S, Wall G. 1999. Ecotourism: Towards congruence between theory and practice.Tourism Management 20(1), 123-132.

Saaty TL. 1980. The analytic hierarchy process, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Saaty TL. 1994. Fundamentals of Decision Making and Priority Theory with the AHP. RWS Publications, Pittsburgh.

Sante-Riveira I, Crecente-Maseda R, Miranda-Barros D. 2008. GIS-based planning support system for rural land-use allocation. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 63, 257-273.

Scheyvens R. 1999. Ecotourism and the empowerment of local communities. Tourism Management 20, 245-249.

Store R, Jokimäki J. 2003. A GIS-based multi-scale approach to habitat suitability modeling. Ecological Modelling 169,1-15.

Talebi R. 2011. Optimum setting of parking places in Tehran city; Casestudy: Seven area of Tehran. Iranian journal of Urban Management 26, 119-132.

Thill JC. 1999. Multicriteria Decision-making and Analysis: A Geographic Information Sciences Approach, Ashgate, New York.

Torfi F, Farahani RZ, Rezapour S. 2010. Fuzzy AHP to determine the relative weights of evaluation criteria and Fuzzy TOPSIS to rank the alternatives. Applied Soft Computing 10(2), 520-528.

Tsaur SH, Lin YC, Lin JH. 2006. Evaluating ecotourism sustainability from the integrated perspective of resource, community and tourism. Tourism Management 27, 640-653.

Uyan M. 2013. GIS-based solar farms site selection using analytic hierarchy process (AHP) in Karapinar region, Konya/Turkey. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 28, 11-17.

Weaver D. 2001. Ecotourism as mass tourism: Contradiction or reality? Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly 42,104-112.

Zhang H, Lei SL. 2012. A structural model of residents’ intention to participate in ecotourism: The case of a wetland community. Tourism Management 33, 916- 925.