Feasibility Study of Ecotourism Regions in Talesh County Using GIS

Document Type : Full length article


1 Prof. of Geomorphology, Shahid Beheshti University

2 M.A. in Tourism Management, Semnan University

3 PhD in GIS & Rs, Agricultural and Natural Resources Center of Semnan Province


To avoid the adverse consequences of tourism, some decisions must be made about its development. To achieve this purpose, one of the first steps is to identify the suitable regions for tourism development and land use planning which will eventually lead to optimum model of development of tourism destination. Due to having unique natural attractions such as mountains, dense forests, rivers, up-country - historical villages, waterfalls and natural springs as well as beautiful beaches of the Caspian Sea, Talesh County has a very good potential for ecotourism. However unfortunately, the lack of proper tourism management as well as the unsustainable tourism development have led to destruction of these unique resources with a growing trend. As the largest county of Gilan province, this county is located in the west of this province.

Materials and Methods
According to the intended evaluation features of the research which aims at identifying the ecological capabilities and the regional zoning in terms of ecotourism development capabilities and nature-based tourism planning, the feasibility of the areas of ecotourism of the region was performed by the use of Geographical Information System (GIS) and the ecological model of ecotourism for Iran and with regard to the special conditions of the region. In this survey, the researcher used the Arc GIS 10 software in order to overlay the maps and create the layers. Moreover, she used the information which had been obtained through climatic data (temperature, precipitation, humidity, number of sunny days), topography, vegetation, soil texture, geology and protected areas. The model used in this study was the ecological model of ecotourism of land use development which had been proposed for Iran and had been based on the systemic analysis and multiple criteria evaluation. This model classifies the region into two groups of intensive and extensive ecotourism and each of which are classified and analyzed in two classes. The first class represents the most suitable condition and the second one represents the suitable condition for the development of ecotourism.
Results and discussions
To achieve an optimal model for the evaluation of the ecological potential of ecotourism, in the first step of the research, in this model the effective spatial and descriptive data were collected and then through georeferencing these data and linking them with the descriptive tables, the data layers were created. To achieve this purpose, the researcher used the Arc GIS 10 software. After the data layers were preparing based on data classification in evaluation model, the classified information was obtained. Then, through overlaying the maps, the spatial information was integrated together and based on their ratings, the potential regions for ecotourism development were identified and the extent of which were determined. To overlay the maps The findings suggest that 406 square kilometers of Talesh lands have the potential for development of intensive ecotourism and 1541 square kilometers of Talesh lands have the potential for development of extensive ecotourism. In addition, Markazi district has the most potential for the development of intensive and extensive ecotourism.

Given that the regions which are related to intensive and extensive ecotourism of the first type are mostly seen in plains and coastal areas of Talesh County, these regions have the necessary conditions for the development of water- base and coastal tourism activities as well as the rural tourism and agritourism. The regions which have the potential for intensive and extensive ecotourism of the second type are mostly located in the highlands of the county. These regions have the necessary conditions for the development of the mountain Sports and activities. Due to the existence of Marian and Agh Evlar up-country-Historical villages, the scientific and specialized tours are also recommended in this area. In general it can be concluded that most parts of the county have the necessary conditions for the development of ecotourism and it indicates that Talesh County has a high potential for ecotourism development. It is in such a way that about 19% of the total area of the county (406 square kilometers), is suitable for the development of the intensive ecotourism and 71% of its total area (1541 square kilometers) is suitable for the development of the extensive ecotourism. Moreover, given that Markazi district is of the most regions for the development of two types of intensive and extensive ecotourism, planning for the development of infrastructures and providing programs for tourism development in this region is very essential.


Main Subjects

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Volume 46, Issue 4 - Serial Number 4
January 2015
Pages 477-494
  • Receive Date: 27 November 2013
  • Revise Date: 21 July 2014
  • Accept Date: 13 September 2014
  • First Publish Date: 22 December 2014