عنوان مقاله [English]
Nowadays development of ecotourism is amongst the most profitable industries that requires prudent evaluation, planning, and management based on the sustainable development sterategies. Hence, adopting an approach that guarantees the social well-being and the health of natural ecosystems is a priority for tourism management. This research was conducted with the aim of locating intensive ecotourism sites. The executive steps of this research include 1) selecting the criteria by literature review, 2) prioritizing the criteria using the analytic network process (ANP) (in form of paired expert comparisons), 3) mapping the criteria by defining fuzzy membership functions, 4) integrating maps using the weighted linear composition and 5) delimiting the areas with proper capacity for the development. Accordingly, the identification and prioritization of the effective criteria on the development of ecotourism from the point views of "the variety of criteria used" and "weight or importance of criteria" were investigated. In the variety section of the criteria used in the previous works, the climatic (available in 67% of studies) and the socioeconomic (45% normal weight) components were the most important criteria. In terms of developable areas, 22 ecotourism sites with the total area of 266 hectares and an average suitabiliy of 78% were identified in the Kheyroud experimental forest in Mazandaran province. The outcome of the criteria and their weights as well as the maps produced from this research can be used as a guideline for the ecotourism managers.
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